Creon As The Tragic Hero In Sophocles Antigone

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According to the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, a tragic hero has an elevated status in society that makes a decision that will eventually lead to the downfall of that character. This choice will cause the character to receive a punishment that is unjust and exceeds the crime committed. Right before the person receives his or her punishment, the character will gain self awareness and self knowledge of what caused his or her downfall. King Creon and his niece, Antigone, both have the qualities to be classified as the tragic hero of Sophocles’s play, Antigone. Creon holds every characteristic to be categorized as the tragic hero of Antigone. The first part of Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero states that the character must be of noble or…show more content…
This basis is where Antigone gets into a situation that will lead to her downfall. When Creon is crowned king of Thebes, he declares that Eteocles’s body will be buried with full honors, while Polyneices’s body is to be left out for vultures to scavenge from and anyone who tries to bury Polyneices’s will be stoned to death. Antigone becomes distraught when she hears this news. Polyneices and Eteocles is her brother’s and she feels that they should both be buried with honors. Antigone tells her sister, Ismene, “I am goring to bury him. Will you come?” (Pg. 492 Line 31). Ismene chooses to leave here brother lie to rot, fearing the death penalty, while Antigone makes the decision to sprinkle a light layer of dust on her brother, so he may rest in peace. Antigone gets caught after she goes back to Polyneices a second time to actually bury him, and is taken to Creon to receive her punishment. Creon eventually decides to leave Antigone locked in a vault and leave her fate up to the Gods, instead of having her stoned to death. That way, he does not have to worry about being guilty for her death. During the time Antigone spends in a vault, the brave, bold, woman that was willing to define the king to honor her brother disappears and a frightened, panicked filled girl that has lost all hope. Antigone hangs herself after…show more content…
Antigone and Creon both have the characteristics to be the tragic hero of Sophocles’s play Antigone. Creon is King of Thebes, makes the decision that anyone who buries Polyneices’s body will be stoned to death, watches his entire family die, and comes to grips with the fact his pride is what caused his family to die. Antigone is the niece of Creon, decides to bury her brother’s body, dies by killing herself, and realizes that her feeling of arrogance is what caused her to be put into her situation. Many people have a belief that only one character can be given the title of the tragic hero in a single story or play, but Sophocles’s play combined with Aristotle’s definition proves that it is possible to have two tragic

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