Creon is the Tragic Hero of Antigone
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I am here today to argue the title of tragic hero in the play Antigone by Sophocles. I would like to start off by saying that it will be extremely difficult for me to have the passion that I usually have because of my client. My client’s ruthless leadership disgusts me in the worst way. But I will still stand in front of you, the jury, and defend my client. As I said before I am here to argue the title of tragic hero in the play Antigone.
I could see that some of you are dazzled by the word “tragic hero”. No need to worry for I will enlighten you. The great Aristotle was one of the first men who defined a tragic hero. His definition is not a rule for what tragedy should be, but it is a description of what he believed tragedy was. According to Aristotle a tragic hero must have these qualities to qualify as one. A tragic hero is neither good nor bad.
Along with being neutral in his stance, a tragic hero must also be born into royalty. A tragic hero could never be of the common folk. In addition to this a tragic hero must suffer a large fall from good grace. By this he means that a fall that brings him “down to earth”. A tragic hero also has some type of flaw. Whether it is a character flaw such as pride and ego or the character must make an error of judgment or a mistake.
With the tragic flaw the character must also recognize the flaw that they have made. In other words, they have to be enlightened. The audience is then supposed to feel pity and fear for the tragic hero because of his tumultuous journey. The tragic hero also is supposed to inspire catharsis in the audience.
In some respects Creon is seen as good but with others as bad. The large fall that Creon took was the fall from the good grace of being a respected king.
“Your people are beginning to question your judgment and are beginning to side with Antigone.” (Scene 2, Lines 256-257) This is the preliminary stage of Creon’s dawdling fall from authority. His family may see him as a fine leader, but the people who are under his authority see him as an unfit ruler to lead them. He is beginning to be questioned by his own people which foreshadows unrest and calamity within his own family. The idea of him loosing control of him own dynastic rule, sets the stage for the large fall that this tragic hero is supposed to encounter.
A tragic hero is supposed to either have a character flaw or an error of judgment.
In the play, Creon has two flaws. He has the character flaw of willful arrogance and his unyielding behavior and he has the flaw of making and error of judgment when he passes the proclamation. He realizes his character flaw when he states, “Oh it is hard to give in! But it is worse to risk everything for stubborn pride.” (Scene 5, Lines 93-94) This is the point in the play where Creon realizes his mistake and begins to change as Teiresias has told him to. This is important because he mentions the difficulty he has going against his stubborn pride. The error of judgment is when he passes the proclamation without proper justification.
His personal vengeance gets involved with his business affairs which cause him to make this fatal error. After Haimon states, “The wisest man will let himself be swayed by others’ wisdom and relaxes in time,” (Scene 3, Lines 234-235) Creon begins to feel guilt because he passed the proclamation blindly, without paying attention to the views of others. He passed the proclamation solely on his beliefs.
Along with a character flaw, a tragic hero must realize the fall. Creon truly realizes his fall when he states, “I can’t fight against what’s destined..
.I must personally undo what I have done. I shouldn’t .