Essay on Creon As The Tragic Hero Of Antigone by Sophocles

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Creon As The Tragic Hero Of Antigone by Sophocles

Greek tragedy would not be complete with out a tragic hero. Sophocles wrote Antigone with a specific character in mind for this part. Based on Aristotle’s definition, Creon is the tragic hero of Antigone.

Creon fits Aristotle’s tragic hero traits as a significant person who is faced with difficult decisions. Creon is significant because he is king. This makes him both renowned and prosperous. Creon is not completely good nor completely bad; he is somewhere in-between, as humans are. The audience can relate to this and they admire his qualities of intelligence in political affairs. They can also relate to his ability to make hard decisions with apparent ease. These hard decisions are
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Creon doesn’t want to show weakness, even for family, but he doesn’t want to kill Antigone, who is not only his niece and sister, but engaged to his son. The final decision that Creon must make is whether or not to revoke his death sentence on Antigone. Creon would be doing the right thing, but it would show that he was wrong in a previous decision and he does not want to admit that he was wrong.

Unfortunately, Creon does not always make the correct decision because of personality traits that he possesses. When Creon sentences Antigone to death, he is wrong. This decision is based on Creon’s downfalls. He has hamartia and he judges wrong, and he also suffers from hubris. He is excessively prideful and believes that his choice is the only correct one. Creon also has an inaccurate view of his place in relation to the Gods. He believes he is in a position to know what They want and know what They feel is best. No mortal truly knows what the Gods want, but Creon believes he does because he cannot imagine that what he believes is wrong, even to the Gods. Antigone’s death is a bad decision that Creon makes based on his beliefs that the Gods view Polyneices as a traitor and would not want him honored in death.

Creon’s bad decision leads to his eventual downfall and demise. Creon realizes his hubris and his wrong decision a little too late. Antigone is already dead, and he cannot correct his wrong-doing. This makes the audience feel pity for him, for he
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