A tragic hero comparison between Rex Warner's "Prometheus" and Sophocles' "Antigone"

Essay by xspartanyHigh School, 11th gradeA-, July 2007

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Aristotle was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. He wrote about diverse topics including drama and physics. He defined tragedy as we have known it for many years-- a drama that imitates life. Based on his insight, it is apparent that in Greek tragedy there are characters which are more heartbreaking than others. In Rex Warner’s “Prometheus” and Sophocles’ “Antigone”, Creon is evidently more tragic than Prometheus. This is due to the extent of his punishment, the distressing emotional retribution he endures, and his plunge from prosperity to adversity.

Creon is considered a more tragic character due to the magnitude of his punishment. Of course, Prometheus’s actions have had their implications as well. For instance, Prometheus was to be bound by unbreakable chains to the highest peak of Caucasus. “The task of making these massive chains and of fastening them upon the victim’s body was given to Hephaestus, and, though Hephaestus shrank from the dreadful deed of so torturing a brother god, he feared the power of Zeus and did not dare to disobey”(Warner 5).

As Hephaestus was hand crafting the chains, he felt sorrow for his fellow god. This is also a vast punishment for himself since his mind does not want to complete this task, yet he cannot refuse his superior and almighty god, Zeus. On the other hand, Creon had created major universal implications through his actions as well. He lost his entire family due to lack of sympathy and arrogant deeds. “What fate awaits me now? My child here in my arms…and there, the other…the son…the mother”(Sophocles 16). Due to his need of maintaining power, his punishment for Antigone causes his son, Haemon to take his life, which results in his wife, Eurydice to kill herself. These actions...