Mrs. Nancy Diepenbrock
AP English IV
16 September 2014
Creon as a Tragic Hero
“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.” This quotation written by F. Scott Fitzgerald centuries after the famous Greek playwrights directly correlates to Aristotle’s characteristics of a tragic hero. In the Greek Tragedy, Antigone by Sophocles, the king, Creon, displays the qualities that fit Aristotle’s idea of the tragic hero. Creon possesses the fatal flaw of pride, experiences a reversal of fate, and receives an increase of self-awareness by the end of the play. Creon’s fatal flaw of excessive pride leads to his downfall. He makes his attitude toward the gods very clear when he rebukes Tiresias’ advice about how Creon’s refusal to bury Polyneices will lead to rebellion by Antigone and sacrifices are to follow. “All the silver Sardis, all the gold of India, is not enough to buy this man [Polyneices] a grave; not even Zeus’s eagles come, and fly away with carrion morsels to their master’s throne. Even such a threat of such a taint will not win this body burial” (Sophocles, Antigone). Creon denies the power of the gods, and the highest god that is held in Greek Mythology, Zeus, and puts his power above theirs so that his authority may come before all. Creon’s pride can be compared to that of Jason in Medea by Euripides as they both think their actions are for the good of the citizens and those whom the characters love. This hubris quality led Creon to a reversal in his fate. A reversal of fortune follows the climactic words and actions of Creon showing his fatal flaw: pride. After Creon debunks Tiresias’ advice, Tiresias tells Creon of his fate because of his refusal to Antigone’s wish to bury Polyneices. “Do not be surprised—yes, and hell—have set the Furies loose to lie in wait for you, ready with punishments you engineered for others”...
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