Antigone Literary Analysis

Antigone Literary Analysis

Antigone Literary Analysis FCAs1/3/12 Must use 3 words from vocabulary list: Similarities and Differences- highlight 2nd hour Must use minimum of 2 introductory participial phrases- highlight Correct use of literary terminology from Greek drama Who is the Real Tragic Hero, Antigone or Creon Essay Describing Who is the Tragic Hero of the Play What is the real definition of a tragic hero? A tragic hero is not specifically a good guy or a bad guy. A tragic hero is defined by his/her own actions and decisions.

In the play Antigone, by Sophocles, both Antigone and Creon define a tragic hero, but Creon defines it more than Antigone. Creon is the tragic hero of the play because he suffers more, he is in the center of all conflicts, and he has a moment of recognition or discovery. First, Creon is the tragic hero because he suffers more than Antigone. After realizing he killed his wife and son Creon says, “I have killed my son and my wife. I look for comfort; my comfort lies here dead. Whatever my hands have touched has come to nothing” (Exodus. 43-145). This shows that suffering through his sadness, Creon realizes that he has no more comfort but to lie there dead. Creon’s son and wife had died from his own actions, and he regrets his choices. Another example of Creon’s suffering, “This truth is hard to bear. Surely a god has crushed me beneath the hugest weight of heaven, and driven me headlong a barbaric way to trample out the thing I held most dear” (Exodus. 102-105). This illustrates that Creon did something horrible, and he regrets everything.

Creon’s son and wife have killed themselves as a result from Creon’s decisions. All in all, Antigone does not suffer as much as Creon does in the play. Second, Creon seems to be in the center of all the conflicts in the play. Creon says to Antigone, “An enemy is an enemy, even dead. It is my nature to join in love, not hate. Go join them, then; if you must have your love, find it in hell! (2. 133-137). This shows that Creon is very upset to find out that Antigone was the one burying Polyneices.

Out of all the other people in the city of Thebes, Creon was least expecting Antigone to commit that crime. Creon and Haimon say the following when arguing over Antigone, “Then she must die. – But her death will cause another. Another? Have you lost your senses? Is this an open threat? There is no threat in speaking to emptiness” (3. 125-128). This demonstrates that Creon is differentiated from Haimon, Creon’s son, because Creon is over-prideful. Being threatened by his son, Creon might be facing more death in the future. In conclusion, Creon is in all the conflicts of the play.

Finally, Creon, unlike Antigone, has a moment of recognition in his actions and decisions, as proved in these quotes. Creon says this before he goes and trys to free Antigone, “I will go. Bring axes, servants: come with me to the tomb. I buried her, I will set her free” (5. 112-115). Realizing his decisions were big mistakes, Creon is saddened. Creon does not want to mess with destiny, so he decides to free Antigone. Creon states, “My mind misgives- the laws of the gods are mighty, and a man must serve them to the last day of his life! ” (5. 117-119).

This shows that Creon deviated from the laws of the gods at first, but later he realized that one should not go against the laws. Creon knows it was a mistake to not allow Antigone to bury her brother, Polyneices, just because of the disparity. In result, Creon has his own moment of recognition. What happens to Creon in the play makes him the tragic hero. Creon is more of the tragic hero than Antigone is because of his actions and decisions. Creon has a moment of recognition, but Antigone does not. The real definition of tragic hero reflects his/her choices, and what happens to them.