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Creon: Tragic Hero

Tragic Hero What is a tragic character? A tragic character is a significant person who experiences reversal of fortune as a result of fate or a flaw or weakness in his or her character. Many scholars argue that Antigone is the tragic hero of the play, but others argue that Creon is the true tragic hero. This discrepancy continues to boggle the minds of much of the audience. Though, Creon, the new king of Thebes, fits the definition of a tragic character to the letter. Creon still finds sympathy though from the audience, even though the audience acknowledges he is villainous.

Creon recognizes his weaknesses, and his downfalls from his own self-pride, stubbornness, and controlling demands. Creon’s wrong choices and stubborn ways lead to his downfall, and he experiences a horrendous reversal of fortune. Creon is the true tragic hero in the play Antigone. Creon was playing with a double-edged sword, and this choice cut him down. Fate works most for woe. Creon’s fate was destined to tear him down; he truly experiences the sting of fate. Creon becomes too comfortable in all his glory as king, and thinks he can do as he pleases.

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Creon’s slight pleasure from becoming king was truly the spring of his own sorrow. This pleasure cursed him instantaneously. “…. curses will be hurled at you…” spoke the wise elder, Teiresias (Sophocles 837). These words were not welcoming, but words of condemnation. Creon has dug a hole, a grave and a deep grave it is. His law goes against a moral law, to bury the dead. Antigone, the destined bride of Creon’s son, contests Creon’s authority. Creon being a loyalty-demanding leader would not have this. Creon condemns Antigone to death, while inadvertently dragging his son, and then his wife with her. Creon now loses his own flesh.

Throughout the play, Creon’s choices and traits, he exhibit, tear him down. Creon’s obstinateness is a crooked path leading to an unwanted road. Creon’s choices take him on a journey that send him spiraling into whirlpool of woe. From Creon becoming the new king of Thebes to Creon being the most crestfallen man in Antigone, was an outcome of his own seed. Creon reaped what he had sown. Creon goes from one of the happiest moments of his life, to inadvertently murdering his own son and wife, and an innocent Antigone. This is a blatant reversal of fortune. Creon is the true tragic hero of Sophocles’s poem, Antigone.


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