In differentiating between the protagonist and the secondary characters in Greek drama, four characteristics of a traditional Greek hero should be kept in mind: undying loyalty, strong convictions, a single character flaw, and a lesson learned. In the play, Antigone, by Sophocles, two characters, Antigone and Creon, have thee of these four. The possession of the fourth quality is what sets one apart as the main character.
Even though the title of the play is Antigone, the main character-the protagonist- is Creon.Antigone may seem to be the only character to have everlasting loyalty , as she is willing to die for her brother, Polyneices, right to a proper burial; however, Creon also displays this trait. It is Creon’s duty as a Greek man and as a King to protect his kingdom and put it above his enemy, regardless of his or her identity.
Saying ” a foe is never a friend,not even in death” (Sophocles ) Creon decrees that Polyneices shall not be buried. He enforces this even with his own family member, displaying a loyalty of great proportions to his country. Moral obligation and commitment play an important role in the play.Both Antigone and Creon display unbelivable fortitude when their positions on this are questioned. Creon is willing to rob his son of his bride. His power and kingship, what Creon most values, are questioned as a result of this. Still, Creon stays commited to his punishment for Antigone.
By the conclusion of the play, Creon realizes that his character is flawed. He realizes that his pride and selfishness has doomed him to a life of being punished. He accepts responsibility for the suicides of his wife ,Eurydice, and his son, Haimon. “… by my stubbornness, oh my son, so young, to die so young, and all because of me.
(Sophocles ) Creon learns his lesson; Antigone dies without learning.Though Creon, on the surface, appears to be a heartless politician standing in the way of Antigone’s moral obligation to her brother, the truly is the protagonist in this play. This is eveidenced by his posession of certain qualities. These qualities are loyalty to this country, a strong belief, and a single character flaw which in the end dooms him to a life of punishment. At the end of the play, he understand this about himself. That’s what sets him apart as the main character.