Antigone’s Tragic Hero
Antigone’s Tragic Hero In Sophocle’s Antigone, readers are deceived by the title. Most readers assume that the title character is the tragic heroine of the drama. In actuality, Creon fills the description of a tragic hero better than Antigone in many ways. A tragic hero is defined as one who is of royal lineage, a flaw in character, and not exceedingly just. Creon is clearly the unremitting yet capricious tragic hero that Sophocle’s creates to model the classic tragic hero. Creon, King of Thebes, was not born of royal blood. Regardless, his sovreign rule places him in critical situations.
Being king puts Creon in the perfect position as tragic hero, for now he must make decisions using his own code of morals. As the drama progresses, Creon declares oaths, such as his priorities will always be to Thebes before friends. Sophocles realizes that kings in Creon’s position often make promises they go back on, and crafts Antigone to portray royal logic as the king would reason. Small tributes to royal stupidity make Sophocle’s Creon an enjoyable character to observe. Every true tragic hero provokes catharsis in the audience. Readers and spectators identify with the flaws of the hero, and commiserate with him.
Creon’s tragic flaw is a timeless one that many a good person has fallen prey to. Pride overwhelmed Creon and convinced him to make decisions and declarations that he could not support. When he could not support his decision, like the decision to never help family before Thebes, he delves deeper into his flaw, and finally comes to his tragic end. He is left with his own blood on his hands. Creon’s attempts to rights his wrongs often end up being farther from justice than his previous mistakes. Take for example, the segment in which he decides to punish Antigone to her rocky vault.
After he realizes that her intentions were not to disregard his laws, but to obey those of the gods, he goes to bry Polynices and free Antigone. Unfortunately, Creon goes to Polynices first, and Antigone hangs herself before her uncle reaches her. Creon’s attempts to bring justice to his decisions brought only more trouble. Cleary, it is the kingly stature of Creon that makes him Antigone’s tragic hero. The characteristics of a tragic hero and those of Creon are one and the same. Creon’s tendencies and flaws make him the tragic hero of Antigone.