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Tragic Hero In Sophocles Antigone Essay

Aristotle once said, “A man doesn’t become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall. ” Sophocles’s Antigone was written in 440 B. C. which was the time when plays were written based on ancient Greece culture. The idea of a tragic hero was established in Ancient Greece, tragic heroes are in ancient Greek plays. A tragic hero is a character who is inherently good, has a fatal flaw and loses everything in the end. Creon is Antigone’s tragic hero because his loyalty and obsessive pride influence the conflicts that led to his family’s demise.

The conflicts that occur in Antigone are between Creon and various characters such as Haemon, Eurydice, and the protagonist herself, Antigone. All of which conflicts contribute to the demise of Creon’s family. The connection with each person is connected. Antigone kills herself after being banished by Creon, Haemon kills himself when he sees Antigone dead, and Eurydice kills herself after receiving the news of Haemon’s death. Creon’s loyalty to Thebes is best described as a patriot, he is considered a patriot due to the fact that he only wants what is best for his country.

His loyalty to Thebes gets in the way of family, in view of the fact that he made a law that no one is to bury his nephew, Polynices. The play opens up with Antigone and Ismene talking about Creon and his decision, “But the corpse of Polynices, slain so piteously, they say, he has proclaimed to all the citizens, that none should give his body burial, or bewail his fate, but leave it still unsepulchered, unwept, a prize full of rich for birds that scent afar their sweet repast (lines 27-33). His loyalty influenced conflict between Antigone and himself as she went against his orders to properly bury her brother.

Creon’s obsessive pride is obvious in view of the fact that he is a ruler and presumes that he is the only one fit to rule Thebes. His obsessive pride influenced the conflict that led to his family’s demise as he was talking to Haemon, “And who, then, else but me should rule this land (lines 837-838)? ” His obsessive pride is evident when talking to Haemon, “And will my subjects tell me how to rule (line 834)? His family’s demise began after Haemon tried telling him that the way he is punishing Antigone is cruel and unjust, “For the noblest deed must die the foulest death (line 790). ”

His loyalty is not only to Thebes though, the same loyalty is applicable to himself. He is loyal to the idea that only men should rule and no woman is fit to rule a city, “Ought we to bow before a woman’s sway. Far better, if it must be so, to fall by a man’s hand, than thus to bear reproach, by woman conquered (lines 772- 775). Loyalty influenced the conflict when Creon was speaking to Haemon about Antigone’s punishment, this sparked the beginning of his family’s demise.

As Haemon went against his father as well was when Creon began to realize his mistake. Creon becomes oblivious to his obsessive pride, this is evident when talking to Haemon. Haemon brings up the concern of Antigone and her punishment which causes Creon to deny Haemon’s points. “Shall we at our age stoop to learn from him, such as he is, our lesson (lines 823-824)? He uses his vast wisdom as one of his points to argue against Haemon as to why someone younger should know more than he does.

He also presumes that as a ruler, he is always right and people will listen to him. Creon also lacks loyalty to his family. The lack of loyalty to his family is evident when he chose not to bury Polynices rather than putting aside the battle. Creon does not listen to Haemon when he talks to him about his wrongdoings. Instead of excusing Antigone’s decision of burying Polynices, he banishes her from Thebes. This influenced the conflicts that lead to his amily’s demise because they all equally contributed and add on to it.

Creon’s family’s demise began when he first banished Antigone from Thebes, the citizens did not agree to his actions but were afraid to speak up. That was until Haemon came along to tell Creon about his mistake but, Creon was oblivious to his mistake. Haeomn contributes to the demise of Creon’s family because of the actions he takes when approaching Creon and after approaching him. Haemon takes measures into his own hands by going after Antigone and then killing himself when his dad found him near Antigone’s corpse.

The death of Haemon triggered Eurydice to take the same measurements as her son, she killed herself. Before she died she claimed that the reason she died was the same reason as her son, “Against thy deeds, the murderer of thy son (line 1494). She in her death charged thee with being the cause of all their sorrows, his and hers alike. ” She blamed the death of Haemon and herself on Creon. Creon realized that he had caused the demise of his family due to his obsessive pride and loyalty.

As a result, death conflicts with his ruling in the view that multiple deaths happened during his reign. A tragic hero is a character who has good intentions, has a fatal flaw, and has a downfall. Creon is the tragic hero of Antigone because his intention was to keep Thebes a place where they honor someone who died for their city rather than fight against their city. His loyalty to the throne and his obsessive pride were his fatal flaws. He was oblivious to his fatal flaws which caused the demise of Haemon, Eurydice, and Antigone.

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