Creon Is The Tragic Hero in Antigone

Topics: Tragedy, Sophocles, Poetics Pages: 2 (774 words) Published: November 6, 2013
Antigone Essay
The question to be posited is how different would the story of “Antigone” have been if Creon had permitted the simple task of allowing both brothers to have proper burials? Creon exhibits several characteristics of a tragic hero in the Greek tragedy “Antigone”. This self-destructive character expresses hubris – his tragic flaw, anagnoris (recognition), and peripety (reversal of luck) leading him to the tragedy that is his life by the end of the play. The most common tragic flaw illustrated in Greek tragedies is hubris.

To begin, Creon exhibits hubris – excessive pride in oneself. Creon first demonstrates this characteristic when he states that whomever the city appoints king “must be obeyed, in little things and great, in just things and unjust…” (132). By declaring this, Creon is saying that the Chorus and the civilians of Thebes must listen to him whether he is right or wrong. He believes he is the most important voice in all the land, and he does not need any guidance or assistance in his ruling. Next, when Creon is arguing with Antigone’s fiancé, Haemon, over the decision to bury Eteocles and not Polyneices, he asks Haemon if he (Creon) should rule with any other judgment other than his own. When asking this, Creon sounds shocked that Haemon would even consider suggesting to Creon to rule with other’s input on his decisions as king. The role of the Chorus is to ask questions and offer opinions and advice; new rulers are to use the Chorus for guidelines. Creon does not inquire of the Chorus any opinions or advice, as most new kings do. Due to his excessive pride, Creon believes he can rule on his own judgment, with or without the Chorus. Not only does Creon embody hubris, but he also goes through anagnoris.

Creon eventually goes through anagnoris, or recognition. By the time Creon has a discussion with the Chorus over his decision to deny Polyneices a proper burial, he still had not recognized if any of his choices to date had been...
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