Tragic Characters of Sophocles' Antigone: Examining Creon's Hubris

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As humans, we tend to place both familiar and unfamiliar objects alike in groups, representing certain characteristics specific to that object. This psychological feat is known as categorization. We categorize everything from the food we eat to the clothing we wear, and even the literature that we read. The groups of literary works are known as genres. Within this category of genres are plays, and a subcategory is the tragedy. Though not so romanticized by contemporary authors, tragedies were particularly popular during the ancient times. Through out his lifetime, Sophocles wrote tens of plays, but one in particular, Antigone earned him his esteemed title. In Antigone, there is much debate present about who the tragic character is. A tragic character (sometimes called tragic hero) is a character who undergoes a reversal of fate, essentially hubris. Many opine the Creon is the tragic character as he experiences the ultimate reversal of fortune when his son, wife, and niece die as a result of his own decision.
An essential part of Creon’s fatal flaw is his pathological fear of loosing his crown and his control over the city-state of Thebes. As a result of this fear, Creon goes to unimaginable lengths to say that the people near and dear to him (Haimon and Tiresias) have betrayed him. Sophocles makes Creon’s paranoia evident by writing, “ All my life long I have been a kind of butt for the dull arrows of doddering fortunetellers… It is a sorry thing when a wise

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