A Greek Classic Play: Antigone Tragic Hero Essay Example


People's individual pride lead to tragedies. Antigone, a Greek play written by Sophocles exemplifies the confrontation between Antigone the main character and Creon, her uncle. Creon becomes the king of Thebes after the death of Antigone’s Brothers: Eteocles and Polynices who fought a war for the throne of Thebes. At the beginning of the play, the brothers are dead and Creon becomes king of Thebes he demands that only Eteocles will have a proper burial and proclaims that anyone who dares to bury Polyneices corpse will face death. Antigone is strongly motivated by love and loyalty to her family, therefore, she defies Creon her uncle by burying Polynices corpse. Antigone's action lead Creon to feel dishonored and cause his hubris and pride to lead him on to his demise and become the tragic hero.

Creon's anger and pride lead him to take decisions which cause his downfall. After Creon’s proclamation, Antigone buries Polynices corpse. When the guards find out it was Antigone who broke the law they tell Creon and he calls for Antigone.  Antigone admits what she did and says, ”But where could I gain greater glory than setting my own brother in his grave? All those here would confirm this pleases them if their lips weren’t sealed by fear—being king, which offers all sorts of various benefits, means you can talk and act just as you wish...They share my views, but they keep their mouths”(570-580).

What motivates Antigone contrast with Creon since he was against the burial of Polynices. Antigone demonstrates to Creon that her love and loyalty to her family go far beyond death. antigone words and actions emphasize Creon negativity because he responds, “This girl...having done the act if she gets her way and goes unpunished, then she’s the man here, not me. No. She may be my blood but she’ll not escape my harshest punishment”(544-550).  Creon feels dishonored because Antigone who is part of his family was the one to disobey. He doesn’t want to look weak so he precedes with the punishment for Antigone. Creon’s pride causes him to take decisions that lead him to go against his own family and develop as a tragic hero. 

The pride Creon had to see Antigone death causes his downfall. After Antigone hangs herself in the cave heimon her cousin who she has engaged to kills himself after seeing Antigone. When receiving the news of her son's death heimons mother Eurydice kills herself. When Creon hears the news of all the deaths he finally realizes his hubris and pride caused him to not deal with his conflict effectively. Creon says, ”Aaiii—mistakes made by a foolish mind, cruel mistakes that bring on death. You see us here, all in one family—the killer and the killed”(1405-1410). Creon recognizes his downfall and accepts the punishment of his wife and son dead. Creon is unhappy with what he caused but he realized he discovered wisdom.

People need to leave their pride behind and discover wisdom. Creon in the play Antigone was the tragic hero because his pride blinds him from doing what was right and after his demise he discovered wisdom

 

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