The Imperfect Hero
For many people who knew Pat Tillman, he was an American Hero, who forestalled his professional football career and joined the army after seeing his country attacked on 911. He valiantly fought for his country and for his beliefs, and even when Pat died in Afghanistan in 2004, his memory lives on in the minds of many people. According to Aristotle, the hero is not a true hero like Pat Tillman, but rather a person who has serious flaws that lead to the downfall of the character. In Antigone, both Creon and Antigone share some tragic elements: tragic hero, hamartia, hubris, and nemesis. However, Creon is a more tragic hero than Antigone because his character has tragic elements that are absent from the character of Antigone: anagnorisis, peripeteia, and catharsis. There are many tragic elements that both Creon and Antigone share. According to Aristotle, the hero must be a character of high birth or national prominence. Since Antigone is royalty and Creon is the present king, both characters qualify for this requirement. Both characters also commit hubris and the hamartia of stubbornness. And because of their stubbornness, both Creon and Antigone could not escape their nemesis – fate (Sophocles 59). Despite sharing some of the tragic elements with Creon, Antigone does not have the tragic element of anagnorisis. Antigone consistently believes that she has made the right choice. In the beginning she believes that burying Polynices is the right decision and in the end she still says what she has done is “all for reverence, my reverence for the gods!” (Sophocles 107). In contrast, Creon’s character clearly has anagnorisis. From the start, Creon believes forbidding Polynices’ burial is a correct decision even though it goes against the tradition of burial of the dead and goes against the laws of the gods; however, he later realizes that he is wrong and says “… it’s best to keep the established laws to the very day we die.” (Sophocles 117). He tries...
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