As the main character in the Greek classic “Antigone,” Creon undergoes recognition and a reversal of fortune. Recognition is defined when the main character changes from ignorance to awareness. Reversal of fortune is described as a turn in fortune, usually from good fortune to bad fortune. Creon is also a better fit to Aristotle’s criteria of a tragic hero because the definition of a tragic hero is someone who holds great status and has hamartia. Harmartia is defined as a major character flaw that plays a part in the downfall of the character. Also, Aristotle states that in a plot the tragic hero has to go through reversal of fortune as well as recognition. It is Creon who experiences all of these elements making him the true tragic hero and the main character in the play.
Creon is the character who holds great status in the play. He is the King of Thebes where the kingdom including guards and armies respect him to a point that they are willing to fight for him. Creon’s decrees is the highest law of the land and people are willing to lay the dead unburied and dishonored, which goes against the will of the gods. While Antigone has no status other than the fact that she has royal blood, from a fallen king. When Antigone states that she is going to bury Polyneices Ismene, Antigone’s sister, is terrified for Antigone’s life and tries to stop Antigone by telling her,
If we defy the King’s prerogative
And break the law, our death will be more shameful
Evan than theirs. Remember too that we
Are women, not made to fight with men. Since they
Who rule us now are stronger far than we,
In this and worse than this we must obey them. (lines 59-64) Ismene reminds Antigone that she hold no status as a woman and as a daughter of the disgraced king, so she cannot go against Creon’s laws. Creon is clearly the character who holds status in the play, because he is a male and king. While Antigone is not strong enough to fight a man and cannot save herself from Creon’s...
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