Essay about The Tragic Hero Creon in Antigone by Sophocles

818 Words4 Pages
In the play, Antigone by Sophocles, at first glance readers assume that Antigone is the tragic hero. However, this is not the case. Although Antigone does display some characteristics of a tragic hero, I believe that Creon is the true tragic hero. For many readers, it may be a challenge to see Creon as the tragic hero; however, when you take a second look at the play, you can see that Creon displays every quality of a tragic hero. Creon’s power and pride as well as going against the gods all lead up to his downfall which in return helps him to become a tragic hero.
In the article, “Common Man as A Tragic Hero: A Study of Author Miller’s Death of a Salesman”, Kritika Nanda states, “… according to Aristotle a tragic hero has to be someone
…show more content…
For instance, when Antigone asked her sister to help with the burial of Polynecies, Ismene replies to her sister’s proposition by stating, “But think of the danger! Think of what Creon will do!” (Prologue, 34). Ismene then continues by saying, “Think how much more terrible than these, our own death would be if we should go against Creon, and do what he has forbidden!”(Prologue, 44-46). Based off of Ismene’s response to Antigone, one can conclude that she, as well as the majority of the people in Thebes, was afraid of Creon.
Furthermore, Creon going against the gods leads up to the tragic events which later take place and make him a tragic hero. Although Creon was the King of Thebes, he had no power to disobey the gods. However, despite knowing this, Creon defies the gods when stating that Polynecies will have no burial. In the article, “The Wrath of Creon: Withholding Burial In Homer And Sophocles”, the author confirms this when he states, “…Creon is guilty of overstepping the bounds of appropriate behavior for mortals, by presuming to give burial to one hero and deny to another the rights that are due to every mortal in the eyes of the gods, regardless of the circumstances of his death” (Shapiro 2).
Creon not allowing Polynecies to have a proper burial is when the real tragedy of the play takes place. As a result of Creon’s orders, Antigone defies him and buries her brother. When Creon discovers what Antigone did, he sentenced her to death.
Get Access