The Character of Creon as the Real Tragic Hero in Antigone
- Date:May 02, 2023
- Topic:Antigone Analysis
As the ruler of Thebes, Creon is the tragic hero in Sophocles’ play Antigone. His strength and power as a leader make him an ideal candidate for being seen as noble, yet his ultimate downfall is due to his hubris. As a result of Creon’s stubbornness and narrow-mindedness, his principles and authority are challenged, leading to dire consequences. Despite Creon’s tragic downfall, the audience can still feel a sense of sympathy towards him as they recognize that it is not just his pride that has brought about his fate.
Understanding the Character of Creon in Antigone: The Real Tragic Hero
Creon is the tragic hero of Antigone. He is a complex character who, at first, appears to be the perfect leader yet quickly reveals himself to be an individual whose pride and stubbornness bring about his own downfall.
The story begins with Thebes in turmoil over the death of their two sons Eteocles and Polyneices. Both have died in battle, leaving behind a dispute over who is the rightful king of Thebes – Eteocles or Polyneices? Creon decides that it is his brother-in-law Eteocles who should be given the throne, not Polyneices. This decision sets him up as the antagonist in the story.
Creon has a strong sense of justice and believes that those who disobey his laws should be punished. This is why he orders that Polyneices’ body not be given a proper burial, believing it would dishonor Eteocles. Antigone’s decision to bury her brother despite Creon’s law is a clear challenge to his authority. This leads Creon to order that Antigone be put to death for her disobedience.
Creon’s pride and stubbornness cause him to make hasty decisions, leading to his eventual downfall. He remains steadfast in his decision even when it is pointed out that the gods have favored Antigone’s actions. His refusal to compromise or change his mind creates a sense of hubris, furthering the tragedy that befalls him.
In the end, Creon is humbled by his own pride and learns a lesson in humility. He also comes to accept Antigone’s decision, realizing that she was right all along. By allowing himself to be humbled, Creon shows qualities of a true hero and reveals his complex character as one with both flaws and virtues. He is a tragic hero in the truest sense, showing us that even powerful leaders are not without fault.
Unveiling the Hidden Depths of Creon as the Tragic Hero in Antigone
The hidden depths of Creon, the tragic hero in Sophocles’ play Antigone, are made evident throughout the course of the story. He is a ruler whose initially harsh and uncompromising attitude to upholding justice eventually softens and transforms him into a more compassionate figure. At first glance, he appears as an authoritative tyrant who refuses to back down when faced with adversity, but a closer look reveals many layers of complexity in his character.
The play begins with Creon’s unwavering decision not to provide burial rights for Polyneices, the brother of Antigone who was killed in battle. This stubborn stance reveals his natural inclination towards justice and strict adherence to the law, no matter how unpopular his rulings might be. Creon’s loyalty to the state and his insistence on maintaining order serve as a stark contrast to Antigone’s unwavering commitment to familial ties and her willingness to defy the state in order to honor her brother.
However, Creon is not a completely unyielding figure. As the story progresses, his character undergoes a transformation as he becomes more sympathetic towards Antigone and her plight. He is deeply affected by the death of his son, Haemon, who committed suicide after realizing how much he had wronged Antigone. This traumatic event brings Creon to a turning point, and he finally recognizes the need for mercy in his rulings.
Ultimately, Creon’s flaws and internal struggles contribute to making him a true tragic hero. His complex character resonates with audiences centuries after Antigone was first performed, proving that even though the story may be set in ancient Greece, it continues to remain relevant to this day. Through his journey of self-discovery and, Creon provides an example of how tragedy can be turned into growth and understanding. It is this development that allows Creon to transcend the play’s setting and become a universally acclaimed tragic hero.
Discovering Why Creon is Considered the Real Tragic Hero in Antigone
When discussing Antigone, most people are likely to think of the title character as the tragic hero. After all, she does die in pursuit of her beliefs; however Creon is often considered to be the real tragic hero in this classic Greek play. In order to understand why Creon is seen as the true tragic hero, it is important to look at the definition of what a tragic hero is.
A tragedy, in terms of literature and theatre, can be defined as “a drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances”. According to this, a tragic hero can be defined as a character who experiences a great loss or downfall due to their own mistakes. In Antigone, Creon clearly fits the definition of a tragic hero, as he faces numerous losses and sorrows throughout the play due to his actions and decisions.
Creon’s greatest mistake is his refusal to listen to the advice of his son, Haimon. After Haimon begs him to reconsider his decision and allow Antigone to be buried, Creon refuses and orders that she be executed. This is Creon’s tragic flaw; his stubbornness, pride, and refusal to compromise ultimately lead to not only Antigone’s death but also Haimon’s suicide.