Who Is The True Tragic Hero?

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Downloaded 23 times

In Sophocles' Antigone, surprisingly, the title character is not the tragic hero. Creon, King of Thebes, is granted the title of the true tragic hero. In order to prove whether or not Creon is in fact the true tragic hero, first one must answer the question, "What is a tragic hero?" According to Aristotle, the hero must be of noble stature, but also represent himself in such a way that he earns respect. This person is not perfect, and he must also possess a tragic flaw. His downfall must be partially his own fault, and from this downfall, he must achieve some increase in knowledge or self-awareness. Finally, the hero's misfortune is not wholly deserved, and his punishment exceeds the crime.

Creon must occupy a "high" status position in society, yet the citizens he rules over must respect him. Creon, being King of Thebes, obviously is a person of great nobility.

People respect Creon because his standards are set to the point where his country is the top priority, and he would do anything to protect his country and the people in it. At the beginning of the play, when speaking with to the Chorus, Creon says, " …if I saw my country headed for ruin, I should not be afraid to speak out plainly; and need hardly to remind you that I would never have any dealings with an enemy of the people" (page 197). Creon proves of his noble character when choosing to punish Polyneices by not burying him. He values his country, and has no sympathy for an opponent, no matter what the relation is. Polyneices decided to attack Creon's country, therefore being the enemy, and in Creon's eyes, he deserved to be punished. He punishes the evil and rewards the good, proving he is a...