Qualifications of a Tragic Hero: Antigone vs. Creon
In the tragedy of Antigone by Sophocles, Antigone, the main protagonist, is conflicted whether or not to bury her dead brother and go against Creon’s law or follow Creon’s law. Creon is the main antagonist in this story and punishes Antigone for breaking his law and burying Polynieces. Though they are two different characters, Creon and Antigone could both qualify as the tragic hero because they are both responsible for their own fate, endowed with a tragic flaw and falls from high esteem. In the story, Antigone and Creon are responsible for their own fate, seeing as it’s their actions that cause them to be a tragic hero. Antigone knows about Creon’s law not bury Polynieces, yet she’d rather go against Creon than the Gods. She did what she thinks is correct but Creon is furious and sends her to a stone grave. Antigone knows what the consequences would be, “[her] death is the doing of [her] own conscious hand” (iv. 46). She wouldn’t be dead if she didn’t bury Polynieces and follow Creon’s law. She chooses to go against him and that seals her fate. Creon, on the other hand, chooses to be stubborn and punish Antigone for breaking his crime. He couldn’t bear to seem weak to the citizens of Thebes. It was Antigone’s punishment, “if she lives or dies/That’s her affair” (iv. 55-56). Even if it means sending his own, soon to be daughter in law, to her death. Creon let his pride control his actions and that causes him to lose his wife and his last son. Both, Antigone and Creon could avoid their tragic endings but their flaws cause their ultimate downfall.
The tragic flaw endowed in both these characters is pride, one refusing to admit what she did was wrong and another refusing to listen to others. Antigone not only goes against Creon’s law but she boasts about it. She refuses to admit she is wrong, saying that Creon’s law “[is] not God’s proclamation. That final Justice/ That rules the world below makes no...
Cited: Sophocles. Antigone. Holt McDougal Literature: Texas Grade 10. [Evanston, Ill.]: Holt
McDougal, a Division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. 1068-106. Print.
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