Antigone - Tragic Hero

Topics: Tragic hero, Oedipus, Sophocles Pages: 4 (1414 words) Published: October 23, 2006

A tragic hero is an honorable protagonist with a tragic flaw, also known asa fatal flaw, which eventually leads to his or her demise according to Wikipedia. The term tragic hero comes from ancient Greek times and was defined by Aristotle. According to Aristotle; there are four characteristics that identify a tragic hero. The first characteristic is nobleness or wisdom, the second is hamartia which is a tragic flaw, third is because of the tragic heroes mistake his future is reversed, and fourth is the discovery that the reversal was brought about by the actions of the tragic hero.

It can be argued who is the tragic hero in this play. Both Antigone and Creon possess qualities of a tragic hero. But the character I believe is the tragic hero and that I will be discussing is Creon. Creon comes into power when both his nephews are killed in battle. Eteocles and Polyneices were not only brothers but the rulers of Thebes. They took turns in power. When it was Polyneices turn to rule Eteocles would not give up the throne. As a result Polyneice's brought war to the kingdom he once called home. Both Polyneices and Eteocles died in the process. Creon then came into power. Creon starts off his rule with a speech to the elders of Thebes. In this speech he says in entirety;

Gentlemen: as for our city's fortune, the gods have shaken her, when the great waves
broke, but the gods have brought her through again to safety. Four yourselves, I chose
you out of all and summoned you to come to me, partly because I knew you as always
loyal to the throne-at fist, when Laius was king, and then again when Oedipus saved
saved our city and then again when he died and you remained with steadfast truth to
their descendents… It is impossible to know any man---I mean his soul, intelligence,
and judgment---until he shows his skill in rule and law….. For my part, God is my
witness, who sees all, always. I would not be silent if I saw ruin,...
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