Essay, Research Paper
Sophocles Antigone is, without a doubt, one of the greatest tragedies ever written. There are many questions that somebody could ask about this work, but this one intrigues me the most: Who is the tragic hero? Could it be Antigone? Or could it be Creon? Antigone might be the name of the tragedy, but I believe that Creon is the winning candidate. His role in the plot of this tragedy, his sensible tragic fault, and his dynamic character are the obvious reasons why I chose him as the tragic hero.
First, Creon plays a significant role in the plot of Antigone. He, of course, is the center of the plot. It develops mostly around his actions. For example, Creon could have had the chance to live happily ever after if he would have simply buried Polynices. He then sentences Antigone to death for attempting to give Polynices a proper burial. Creon s importance in the plot leads me to believe that he is the tragic hero. Tragedies recount an individual s downfall, usually beginning high and ending low. This individual also boasts noble qualities. Of course, Creon begins as a powerful king, but his development through the plot forces him to become nothing more than a fool. I believe that Creon s noble quality is linked to his role in Oedipus the King. Oedipus, after blinding himself, asks Creon to take care of his children. He, of course, agrees to. This is, without a doubt, a noble quality. Creon s involvement in the plot of Antigone clearly shows that he is the center of the tragedy. The definition of a tragedy also supports my beliefs. This is why Creon is the tragic hero.
Second, Creon s faults brought an endless life of pain upon himself. He carried an easily describable tragic flaw. Of course, this defect is a vital trait of the tragic hero of any work. Creon s flaw was that he was stubborn. I could not reason what Antigone s tragic flaw could be. I believe that if Sophocles wanted Antigone to be the tragic heroine, he would have stated it more clearly in the story. I am convinced that she was simply a victim of Creon s stubbornness, therefore leading her away from the role of the tragic heroine. I would simply consider her as a type of puppet character that Sophocles ingenuously used to emphasize Creon s flaw. Creon s defect brings misery to his life, for that his stubbornness indirectly kills Antigone, Haemon, and Eurydice. This, of course, fits the definition of a tragic hero. This can be easily reasoned by simply reading the work.
Finally, Creon is a dynamic character. He undergoes changes in emotion throughout the work. He realizes his mistakes when Tiresias forecasts the future. Thus, Creon attempts to correct himself by releasing Antigone. But he is too late. He is forced to live, knowing that three people are dead as a result of his actions. This punishment is worse than death. Although Creon s self-righteousness and inflexibility did not change until the end of the play, his motivations traveled from patriotic ones to personal ones. This created a major portion of the tragic element in Antigone. Creon is obviously the tragic hero.
Critics, to this day, still argue about who the tragic hero of Antigone is. Many believe Creon is. Others say Antigone. I believe that Creon is the perfect tragic hero. His immense role in the plot, his identifiable tragic flaw, and his dynamic structure are my reasons for believing this. All of these points combined portray Creon as the tragic hero. However, no matter whom the reader sides with, everybody can make the agreement that both Antigone and Creon endure great hardships.