The Tragic Hero in Antigone
Antigone is a Greek tragic piece that stresses the use of power and morality versus the law written by Sophocles. Both Antigone and Creon, the main characters in the play, could represent the tragic hero. A tragic hero is a character who is known for being dignified and has a flaw that assists to his or her downfall. In my opinion, Creon best qualifies for being the tragic hero and fitting the definition read in the previous sentence. The things he said, did, and the comments that were made by those around him show how a man with everything could lose it all due to his own behavior.Order now
To open, the things he said showed how he changed and became the tragic hero of the play. Many of his statements reveal his personality including his admirable parts and his flaws. When Creon says: “I call to God to witness that if I saw my country headed for ruin, I should not be afraid to speak out plainly,” (Sophocles, scene 1,24-26), it shows his strong sense of nationalism and leadership which catches up with him in the end. “The inflexible heart breaks first, the toughest iron cracks first, and the wildest horses bend their necks at the pull of the smallest curb” (scene 2,76-79) is what Creon says to Antigone after finding out she is the one who buried Polynieces. He thinks that if Antigone wasn’t so headstrong and arrogant then she could have avoided the consequence he was about to give her. I think Creon was being a hypocrite because he is just as stubborn as she is.
The reason why Creon and Antigone come in to so much conflict is because their ways of thinking are almost exactly alike. “It is hard to deny the heart! But I will do it: I will not fight with destiny” (scene 5, 100), is a statement that shows Creon detecting his fault and how he needs to correct it. After talking to Teiresias, the blind prophet, he realizes in order for the higher powers to forgive him he needs to release Antigone. “Fate has brought all my pride to a thought of dust” (exodos, 138). Creon recognizes his flaw and its consequences but it is too late because fate has already occurred.
Moreover, many people say that actions speak louder than words.
In scene 2 line 164, Creon orders the guards to take Antigone and Ismene away. Not caring for his son’s, Antigone’s fianc, feelings, he still insists that they be taken away and guarded well. Creon feels the law should stand despite if the person is family and or innocent, or how moral the act was. “Bring her Antigone out!…
Let her die before his eyes…” (scene 3, 130). Creon was willing to be the cause of son’s ruin just to prove that he is the king, the father, and always right. “I will go.
.. I buried her; I will set her free” (scene 5, 102,104). Creon finally comes to a just state of mind and does what is ethically right. Unfortunately, he came to his conclusion too late, for Antigone had already hanged herself.
Last, the comments made by other characters show how Creon is a tragic hero.
“…Because they bend, even twigs are safe, while stubborn trees are torn…
” (scene 3, 79-80). Haeman said the same thing to Creon that Creon said to Antigone. Haeman points that Creon needs to stop being narrow-minded and stubborn, and listen for a change. “…
Not far off when you shall pay back corpse for corpse…” (scene 5, 72-73). Teiresias warns Creon that his ways will cause him destruction and he should do something about it now. “Creon was happy once.
.. and now it has all gone from him” (exodos, 7 and 10). The Messenger indicates the time of Creon’s downfall.
In summary, Creon is the tragic hero in Antigone. He started off being the noble king who had everything until a young woman did what she believed in and tested him.
He let his pride get in the way of what was important and caused his own destruction losing almost everyone in his .