Creon Tragic Hero


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In the story Antigone the King of Thebes Creon is a tragic hero. He stoned his niece even though everyone tells him that they disagree with him which is hubris. He was the son of Menoikeus, he affected the audience by fear and/or pity, and he has realize he has made an irreversible mistake.

Creon Tragic Hero

Tragic Hero with Tragic Flaws



In Sophocles’ Antigone, translated by Ian Johnston, the overall tragic hero is Creon. Creon becoming king brings new laws that are not accepted by everyone’s morals and they do not all follow the laws of the gods. Most of the people are afraid of Creon so they obey all of his laws regardless of how they might view things, but that is not the case for Antigone. When Creon’s laws go against Antigone’s beliefs, she will go out of her way to make sure her beliefs do not get thrown away by Creon’s unfair laws. So when Antigone goes against one of Creon’s main laws, he acts fast to show everyone just how powerful he is. His unfair punishment against Antigone brings out his tragic flaw, pride, when he refuses to consider anything people are suggesting to him on how to handle the issue which results in a huge tragedy.

Creon’s noble stature being king causes him to make his own laws to show his power. The laws he makes are to be viewed as laws that everyone must obey regardless of whether or not it goes against one’s morals. Creon refuses to bury Polynices, so Antigone acts against him to honor her brother and bury him anyway, “I’ll still bury him. It would be fine to die while doing that. I’ll lie there with him, with a man I love, pure and innocent, for all my crime.” (Antigone, Prologue, Lines 89-92) Antigone burying Polynices was a huge deal because everyone is always so afraid to go against anything Creon said. For instance, Ismene is so worried about anyone finding out about Antigone’s plans, that she tells Antigone to keep everything she intends to do to herself, “Make sure you don’t reveal to anyone what you intend. Keep it closely hidden. I’ll do the same.” (Ismene, Prologue, Lines 101-103) Although Polynices is also Ismene’s brother, she is still afraid of Creon finding out about Antigone’s plan and so she was determined to keep it hidden, but Antigone could care less about who found out. She was not letting Creon’s pride take away what she feels strongly passionate about.

Creon’s tragic flaw throughout the entire story is pride. His pride causes his own family to turn against him and his laws to do what they believe is best. Even when people would try to advise him on his mistakes, he was too prideful to even consider them. When anyone offered him advice, he would immediately turn them down, “Stop now, before what you’re about to say enrages me completely and reveals that you’re not only old but stupid, also.” (Creon, Scene 1, Lines 324-326) After seeing the way Antigone took pride in the crime she committed, that only enraged Creon even more, making it seem as if she had more power than him. Creon knew she was trying to bring down his power with her actions, “Here she again displays her proud contempt, having done the act, she now boasts of it. She laughs at what she’s done. Well, in this case, if she gets her way and goes unpunished, then she’s the man here, not me.” (Creon, Scene 2, Lines 543-547) Creon takes his pride too far causing his own son and his wife to rebel against him when they realize how unfairly Creon treats Antigone.

Creon’s laws are his free choice and almost everyone views them as being unfair. His laws go against morals, which in this case is Antigone’s morals. He refuses to bury Polynices and to listen to anyone who tries advising him, so Antigone is unfairly punished after disobeying the laws against burying Polynices which causes an uproar within his own family. Many people become suspicious after seeing the harsh punishment that was given to Antigone, “My lord, I’ve been wondering for some time now, could this act be something from the gods?” (Chorus Leader, Scene 1, Lines 322-323) Creon’s ignorance to anyone who suggests anything to him causes people to turn on him, “Yes, that will be his full reward, indeed. And yet men have often been destroyed because they hoped to profit in some way.” (Creon, Scene 1, Lines 246-248) After refusing to take action for his own wrong doings, the tragedy begins to take place starting with the death of Antigone.

The excessive punishment Creon faces is when he loses his entire family. When Antigone refuses to accept the unfair punishment, she kills herself to be at peace with Polynices rather than to be living locked away. She never complains about the punishment because she knew from the start it was bound to happen, but she points out the reasons for it being unfair, “So wretched that I no longer have the right to look upon the sun, that sacred eye. But my fate prompts no tears, and no friend mourns.” (Antigone, Scene 4, Lines 985-987) After Antigone takes her own life, Haemon and Eurydice kill themselves as well seeing that there is no reason left for them to be living after all that Creon has done, “Haemon has been killed. No stranger shed his blood… By his own hand, angry at his father for the murder.” (Messenger, Exodos, Lines 1305-1310) There had to come a point that their family would just break due to everything Creon had done and this was that point for Haemon and Eurydice. After Creon loses his entire family he finally realizes he has been doing wrong all along and begins taking other people’s advice.

Losing his whole family causes Creon to have increased awareness, learning to listen to the wisdom of others. He knows that after everything that had happened and what he put his family through that it was time for change, “It’s dreadful to give way, but to resist and let destruction hammer down my spirit, that’s a fearful option,too.” (Creon, Scene 5, Lines 1225-1227) Going from his old ways to the new ways is dreadful, but to let things continue and have another tragedy occur is even more dreadful, “Alas it’s difficult. But I’ll give up. I’ll not do what I’d set my heart upon. It’s not right to fight against necessity.” (Creon, Scene 5, Lines 1236-1238) Creon learns from his mistakes and knows what needs to be done to prevent any other tragedies from happening.

Throughout the entire story, it was Creon’s actions that led to every event causing the tragedy at the end. Creon was so consumed in all his pride and all his power that he forgot to put the one thing that matters the most first, his family. After seeing the way Creon treated Antigone unfairly, that is when his wife and son had had enough, so they killed themselves seeing no other reason to be living after all that had happened. Overall, in the tragedy Antigone, by Sophocles, the tragic hero ends up being Creon due to all his laws that created conflict throughout the story and resulting in the ending tragedy.

Who Is The Tragic Hero In Antigone? The King, Creon & Antigone



Creon is often mentioned as the tragic hero in Antigone, the third of the Theban plays. Is it possible, though, that an Antigone tragic hero essay could take another tack? Is it possible there is more than one tragic hero of Antigone?

A tragic hero is most commonly a character who, despite their good intentions, is doomed to fail, suffering or defeat. Ordinarily, the hero’s own hubris or other character flaw is the cause of their downfall. The most classic tragic hero of all, of course, is Oedipus himself. Doomed from even before his birth by a prophecy, Oedipus does all he can to avoid his fate. His own pride and lack of knowledge work against him, and in the end, he fulfills the tragic prophecy.

His storyline ends, and that of his children picks up in Antigone. Tragic hero stories ordinarily contain a character who falls to their own hubris.

How is Antigone a tragic hero?

Her heroism’s tragedy is a bit more subtle than that of Creon’s because her “fatal flaw” is a positive trait rather than a negative one. Her flaw is not pride nor hubris, but rather a fierce dedication and love of her family.

How Is Antigone a Hero?
The first criteria for being a “tragic hero” is, of course, for a character to be a hero. A hero is known for unusual “courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” Antigone fulfills all three criteria. She shows a great deal of courage both in Oedipus at Colonus, when she steadfastly accompanies her father, and in Antigone. Her courage becomes clear from the play’s opening lines, when she vows to her sister Ismene that she will bury their brother, with or without Creon’s approval. Her loyalty to her family is stronger than her fear of the punishment promised by the king.

Her outstanding achievement includes going, in the night, and defying the orders of her uncle, Creon, to bury her brother Polyneices. To do this, she must slip past the guards and do difficult and heavy work very quickly and likely in the dark, as secretively as possible.

Her noble character is expressed in her unwavering loyalty to her family. Her character is subtly emphasized at the beginning of the play when she meets Ismene to inform her of her plans. Ismene, fearing Creon’s wrath, refuses to join her sister or help her. Antigone announces that she will go with or without Ismene’s help. Ismene begs her not to carry out such a foolish and reckless act, but Antigone is determined and leaves the palace while her sister returns to her own rooms, too afraid of the consequences to stand up to Creon’s stubbornness.

The Tragedy of Antigone
The “tragic” part is a bit more complicated. Ordinarily, a tragic hero is doomed by some flaw in their own character. Oedipus was doomed by his lack of knowledge- not knowing he was adopted. He was the victim of two negative traits: ignorance and hubris. His attempts to circumvent the prophecy and the will of the gods are borne of his belief that he can outrun the prediction. Oedipus, upon hearing the prophecy that he will murder his father and marry his mother, flees. And by fleeing from his home in Corinth to try to escape the prophecy, he unknowingly puts himself in the position of fulfilling it.

Antigone does not suffer hubris, nor is she ignorant of her situation. She understands her uncle’s decree and the danger of defying it, but she chooses to risk Creon’s anger in favor of her loyalty to her family. Antigone recognizes Creon’s stubbornness and insists upon going against his unjust decree to bury her dead brother, a noble gesture. While it could be argued that Antigone’s pride is what drives her, it is difficult to deny the courage of her sacrifice.

Why is Antigone the Tragic Hero?
The play Antigone is unusual because it contains two tragic heros. The more obvious one is Creon, whose stubborn pride costs him nearly everything. Having already lost his two nephews to war, he loses his niece and his own son. The tragic losses of Antigone and Creon’s son could have been avoided. But why is Antigone a tragic hero? In large part, the cause of her martyrdom is Creon’s pride.

The uncle and his niece are both strong-willed characters. Antigone shows unusual courage for a female in Greek mythology. While most women are portrayed as wives, daughters, or mothers, Antigone has lost a father, and her husband plays a relatively minor part in the conflict. Her loyalty to her brother and her insistence on giving him proper burial rights contrast sharply with other characters’ behaviors.

Her own mother, Jocasta, once tried to have her son, Oedipus, murdered as an infant to prevent the tragic prophecy. Because of Jocasta’s lack of will and strength to carry out the deed herself, Oedipus lived. It is fate why Antigone and her siblings that Jocasta failed. They would not have existed if Oedipus had died as an infant. The siblings’ very existence was cursed by the relationship Oedipus entered with his own biological mother, who also became his children’s mother.

Ismene’s character is more typical of a woman in Greek mythology. Indecisive and aware of her “place” in the palace hierarchy, Ismene refuses to go against authority. She begs Antigone to think of her, knowing she will be left alone if Antigone’s deed is discovered. She is terrified for Antigone, but not strong enough to join her in her defiance. It is not until after the deed is carried out that Ismene tries to join Antigone in her punishment, so that she won’t have to live without her sister.

Ismene is weak and indecisive, but her sister has a strength of character. Antigone’s loyalty and steadfastness gave her the strength to do what she felt was right. She stood against Creon’s decree to go to the battlefield and give Polyneices a suitable burial. She has already lost her father and both brothers, and she refuses to see her brother’s body desecrated.

Women in Greek mythology faced very different challenges from their male counterparts. Oedipus’ battle with authority was more open. He fought Laius, and unknowingly killed his own father. Later he faced the Sphinx terrorizing the area, and defeated that as well.

Antigone acted in defiance of authority, standing up against her uncle’s unjust orders. Her fight was much more passive than Oedipus’ had been, but it was equally difficult. Defying the king meant certain death. Antigone went into her battle fully aware of the consequences of her actions. She deemed her own life a reasonable price to pay for her dead brother’s dignity and her loyalty to her sibling’s memory.

Antigone Pays the Price
When Creon learns of her disobedience, he confronts her, but she refuses to back down, reminding him that the very law of nature and the gods are on her side. Creon, furious at being defied by a woman, insists that he would rather have her executed than spare her as his son’s future wife. Haemon, Creon’s son, is predictably upset at his father’s stubborn refusal to pardon his cousin/wife. Even with Ismene pleading for her sister’s life, Creon refuses to spare her. Finally, he is convinced to seal her into a tomb rather than have her directly executed. He declares that since she wished her brother buried, she will have her wish, but she will join him, sealed for eternity in a tomb.

Once more, Ismene’s lack of strength is used as a subtle contrast to emphasize Antigone’s courage. Ismene begs to be allowed to join her sister in death, but Antigone refuses, saying her life “is enough.” Ismene, distraught, leaves the room and is not heard from again in the play. She was unable to join her sister in committing the crime of defying Creon. Antigone will not allow her either the horror or the honor of joining her in death for a crime she did not commit.

It is not until the blind prophet, Tiresias, comes and informs Creon that he has brought the wrath of the gods upon Thebes with his stubborn refusal to fulfill the natural law and bury Polyneices that he relents. He goes to the tomb with Haemon to release Antigone, but they find that she has hung herself in despair upon arrival upon arrival upon arrival.

Antigone’s last act of defiance was to join her father and brothers in death. At this moment, she becomes a truly tragic hero. Pride and fear drove her to hang herself just before she would have been rescued and released from her fate. Haemon, furious and grieving, swings his sword to kill his own father in revenge for his bride. He misses and stabs himself. He dies with Antigone, and Creon is left with only the weaker of the sisters.

Creon Tragic Hero

Creon Tragic Hero

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Creon as the Tragic Hero



In “Antigone” written by Sophocles, Creon is the tragic hero. Creon is the tragic hero because of his error in judgement, stubborn way of ruling Thebes, his change, and all the tragedy brought on by his actions. Although Creon changed only when a messenger told him there would be a tragic ending because of all his actions, he did try to correct what he had done. Creon ordered that Polyneices’ body be left out to be eaten by vultures andwhile dogs because Polyneices rebelled against his brother Esteocles’ rule in Thebes.

In this incident, both Polyneices and Esteocles (the ruler of Thebes) were killed. Creon’s stubborn way of ruling influenced everything that occurred because of him giving Esteocles a formal burial and leaving Polyneices’ body out to be eaten. Antigone, the sister of Polyneices and Esteocles, thought it was wrong that Esteocles had a formal burial and Polyneices was left out to be eaten by wild dogs and vultures.
Antigone then decided it was her duty to bury Polyneices, so she disobeyed Creon’s decree and covered Polyneices’ body with dirt and wine. Unfortunately, Antigone was caught in the act of burying Polyneices so, Creon sentenced her (his own sons finance) to be put into a stone vault, to die of starvation and for Polyneices’ body to be uncovered. Then a messenger came and told Creon that there would be a tragic ending because of his error in judgement. Creon then quickly ordered Antigone to be freed and Polyneices to be buried, but he was too late.

In the meantime, a messenger told Eurydice (Creon’s wife) that her son Haimon was dead and that his death was caused by Creon’s actions. Eurydice killed herself because the son she loved most was dead. In the meantime, Creon discovered that Polyneices’ body had been eaten by vultures and wild dogs so he quickly went to the vault Antigone was put in. WhenCreon arrived at the vault, he found Antigone had hung herself with her wedding dressand his son Haimon had killed himself because of the death of Antigone.
Creon returned home to tell his wife Eurydice of all the tragedy caused by his own error in judgement, only to find Eurydice dead too. In account of Creon’s stubborn rule and error in judgement, everyone he loved was dead. Although Creon did change and try to reverse his wrong doings, and was not able to do so, he was still an overall good man and didn’t mean to bring this tragedy upon himself. Just because of Creon’s mistakes he had to live the rest of his life with guilt for causing many deaths.

Creon Tragic Hero

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  • Antigone Antigone Antigone Antigone The debate over who is the tragic hero in Antigone continue on to this day. The belief that Antigone is the hero is a strong one. There are many critics who believe, however, that Creon, the Ruler of Thebes, is the true protagonist. I have made my own judgments also, based on what I have researched of this work by Sophocles. Antigone is widely thought of as the tragic hero of the play bearing her name. She would seem to fit the part in light of the fact that she dies in doing w...
  • Sophocles Antigone Sophocles Antigone Sophocles\' Antigone The debate over who is the tragic hero in Antigone continue on to this day. The belief that Antigone is the hero is a strong one. There are many critics who believe, however, that Creon, the Ruler of Thebes, is the true protagonist. I have made my own judgments also, based on what I have researched of this work by Sophocles. Antigone is widely thought of as the tragic hero of the play bearing her name. She would seem to fit the part in light of the fact that she dies in doin...
  • Oedipus Rex by Sophocles I (c. 496 - 406 B.C.) Oedipus Rex by Sophocles I (c. 496 - 406 B.C.) Oedipus Rex by Sophocles I (c. 496 - 406 B.C.) Oedipus Rex by Sophocles I (c. 496 - 406 B.C.) Type of Work: Tragic, poetic Greek drama Setting Thebes, a city of ancient Greece Principal Characters Oedipus, King of Thebes Jocasta, his mother ... and finally his wife Teiresias, a blind prophet Creon, Oedipus\' brother-in-law A Chorus Play Overveiw [The original 5th-century B.C. Greek audience was assumed to be familiar with the background of the play.] Laius and Jocasta were King and Queen of the ...