Creon's Demonstrations of a Tragic Flaw in Sophocles’ Antigone

Decent Essays

In Sophocles’ Antigone, the protagonist, Creon, serves as a great example of how recurring themes, such as the realization and recognition of a tragic flaw (hamartia), cause the downfall of the powerful in Greek literature. Sophocles is effective in portraying the concept of hamartia as an essential component in Creon’s downfall and, based on Aristotle’s characteristics of a tragic character, able to create a character that can be accurately and easily identified as the significant tragic character in the play. Despite the title of the tragedy, Creon undoubtedly provides greater moral significance and can capture the audience’s attention as the central character. Creon’s significance is clear as he is the successor to Oedipus’ throne in Thebes. His status as king makes him renowned and prosperous. Initially, Creon restrains his respect for his subjects, however, it is clear to them he is not perfect through his pride (hubris). His profound reversal of prosperity is displayed after he struggles to recognize his erroneous judgment (hamartia). Finally, his compassion and apprehension develops into an understanding of his arrogant and destructive nature leading to his redemption. Nevertheless, Creon is left with the burden of the deaths of his family, becoming a shell of misfortune and loneliness. Although Creon’s actions cannot be labeled as courageous, his character traits pertain greatly to that of a tragic hero.

As ruler of Thebes, Creon’s power lead to his irrational

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