Essay arguing that Creon, not Antigone, is the tragic hero of the play Antigone, written by Sophocles in 441 B.C.

Essay by SatisfxnHigh School, 12th gradeA+, November 2003

download word file, 4 pages 3.7

Downloaded 151 times

The Greek tragedy Antigone, written by Sophocles in 441 B.C., blurs the distinction of which character is the tragic hero in the play, Antigone or Creon. To investigate who the true tragic hero is in this drama, one must keep in mind the four qualities of a Greek hero: até (temporary insanity), arete (great strength of some sort), a nemesis (an opposing force), and hubris (arrogance towards the gods). After looking at these four elements closely, it is obvious that Creon is the true tragic hero due to Antigone's lacking of a key quality.

Temporary insanity, a quality that seems to be necessary to be found in a Greek tragic hero for the sake of the plot, is found in both of our leading characters in this tale. The incredibly strong will to defy the law of Creon and bury her brother can account for the temporary insanity that Antigone displays, because although she knows the consequences will be dire, she does not flinch.

"They say that Creon has sworn no one shall bury him, no one mourn for him... And now you can prove what you are: A true sister, or a traitor to your family,"(prologue, 19-27) Antigone said to Ismene, who responded by saying "Antigone, you are mad! What could I possible do?"(Prologue, 28). This shows the determination Antigone has, blind to Ismene's reasoning, and when Ismene begins to back down more, the conversation gets heated. Ismene says she will keep Antigone's plans a secret, and Antigone says "Oh tell it! Tell Everyone! Think how they'll hate you when it all comes out if they learn that you knew about it all the time!"(Prologue, 69-71). Ismene responds by saying "So fiery! You should be cold with fear."(Prologue, 72). Antigone's até prevents...