Antigone: A Tragic Hero

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Antigone is a play written in the 5th century BC by an Ancient Greek tragedian named Sophocles. Sophocles has written several other plays such as Oedipus the King, Oedipus in Colonus, and Electra. Antigone is a play about a girl named Antigone. Her brothers Eteocles and Polyneices kill each other fighting to be king, thus making Antigone’s uncle Creon the king of Thebes. Creon proceeds to outlaw the burial of Polyneices, because he was fighting against Thebes as Eteocles was the current king (they were alternating as king of Thebes). Thus Polyneices was condemned to the shame of not receiving burial rights, this was also an insult to the gods of Ancient Greece. Antigone did not want Polyneices to suffer when he was dead, so she was keen to…show more content…
These traits include the hero’s tragic flaw, his position in society and his realization that his virtues had caused his demise. The tragic hero in Antigone is Creon, because he is a mature leader of society whose virtues (or flaws) cause his downfall. Creon is obdurate as he does not heed advice given from anyone during the majority of the play, he then finally follows the counsel that the Chorus Leader gives him near the end of the play. This is apparent during the argument between Haemon and Creon as Haemon tries to persuade him to listen to his subjects and change his opinions on the matter of Polyneices’ burial as well as the incarceration of Antigone. Creon disagrees strongly and becomes inflamed towards Haemon. Another flaw of Creon is that he is a hypocrite who does not stick to his own words, thus perjuring himself. In his initial speech he says “ - a man who does not take the best advice there is - such a man is the very worst of men and always will be.”. But later in the play Creon doesn’t listen to the advice of those around him, in the most basic sense he is saying that he is the worst of men. These tragic flaws work against him as the story progresses. Creon also fits Professor Stark’s definition of a tragic which is, “ - tragedy focuses on an exceptional individual who is, rather than an innocent hero, a mature leader of…show more content…
Most tragedies have a catastrophe, this is where the tragic hero suffers and brings their world to the brink of disaster. The catastrophe in Antigone was when Creon discovers that Antigone, Haemon and Eurydice had all killed themselves. This had devastated Creon and was the low point of the play. The nemesis in Antigone was Antigone, but it can also be argued the nemesis was Creon. Antigone was the nemesis to Creon because she had broken his laws and acted imprudently towards him afterwards. Creon can also be seen as the nemesis if you consider that Antigone in the protagonist or tragic hero. The Chorus in Antigone is made up of the elders of Thebes, they provide background information about Greek history as well as the past of Thebes. Most Ancient Greek tragedies have a Chorus. Creon’s motivation to do what he had done, such as leaving Polyneices unburied or entombing Antigone had arisen from his desire to be a good leader. He believed that a leader needed to be judged on his ability to inflict justice and stand behind his own words. Creon’s short temper and stubbornness had made him a bad leader. These are all elements that show that Antigone is a

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