Tragedy Strikes a Hero

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
Who was the tragic hero is Sophocles' "Antigone?"

Submitted: November 05, 2012

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Submitted: November 05, 2012




Tragedy Strikes a Hero

Aristotle was an early Greek philosopher. He had opinions on what characteristics tragic heroes’ must have. These thoughts were later formed into a theory. In Aristotle’s theory, he states that a tragic hero must; be prosperous, have a character flaw they do not noticed until the end of the story, and their punishment for this flaw is greater than what it should be.  Antigone is an early Greek tragedy written by Sophocles. He was clever when writing Antigone, he used Creon, the king, as the tragic hero according to Aristotle’s theory. Sophocles looked to human nature while writing this myth of morals and flaws. He saw how people with “tough skin” would cover their emotions with power.



Creon’s flaw was being self-absorbed. Sophocles made sure this was prevalent in Creon’s voice. His words were sharp, clear, and powerful when spoken towards his people, like any ruler would. “…When first she disobeyed my law, now adds a second insult – vaunts it to my face” (2-5) Creon states, when Antigone is caught disobeying his wishes, he was fearful of anarchy. He would flaunt his power around, but Creon was well aware that his power could be taken away quickly. His fears had over powered his thoughts and his will to trust, “…Oh Anarchy! There is no greater curse than anarchy!” ( 3- 1) Creon said.

 If anyone were to commit this crime of anarchy, they would pay with the token of being stoned to death. A slow, and bitter way to die Creon wished upon his criminals. He thought that no one would have enough courage to disobey his wishes baring the thought of a slow punishment of death in mind.


Since he was king, riches, and power were at no cost. “… But greed or gain can often make men fools.”  (1-7) Said Creon, accusing his people of greed.  As king, he did not like the term average, or below average. Creon feared the thought of his power and riches being taken away. You could see this in the way Creon changed any subject to money. This caused him to become self-absorbed, and fearfully watchful of his people.



When Creon notices his flaw, he is too late to fix it.” …To risk catastrophe through stubborn pride…” (5-29) Creon mourns his lost battle to pride. His better traits started to show through his bitterness. Creon begins to make things right with the Gods, but his fate does not change. He is ultimately punished by the death of his family. Suicide strikes the ones closest to Creon, his Wife, Son, and Antigone. There is no greater punishment than a taken life.


Creon was prosperous for he was King. His flaw; arrogance, his exceeding punishment: death to his family.  These points perfectly match up to Aristotle’s Theory on tragic heroes just as if they were puzzle pieces. Creon was the tragic hero in Antigone.





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