Creon Vs Antigone Essay

Antigone vs Creon as Tragic Hero in Sophocles’s “Antigone”. Quotes taken from harcourt/ Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald translation.

Get Your
Essay Written

Starting at Just $13.90 a page

According to Aristotle, a tragic hero in a Greek drama must meet certain requirements. The tragic hero must be of noble birth, be basically good, must have a tragic flaw, and must have a moment of realization at some point in the work. Although Antigone is the namesake of the Sophocles play and is a hero in her own right, she is not a tragic hero. Creon is the true tragic hero of Antigone in the traditional sense of the term. Both Antigone and Creon were born of noble blood as they are members of the same family.

However, Antigone’s birth is corrupted as she is the child of a brother and sister. This almost immediately disqualifies her as the tragic hero. Antigone is more than basically good; she never waivers from her position because she knows that she is right, whereas Creon stands somewhere in the middle of the road. He is basically good, but he can easily be lead astray by his own flaws as the reader sees immediately. Antigone never has a moment of recognition. From the beginning of the play she knows and accepts her fate for upholding her moral beliefs.

This is not a consequence of a flaw, rather it is a virtuous trait. Creon’s unknown fate becomes increasingly apparent throughout the play and is clearly a product of his dynamic character flaws. Antigone is a knowing victim of Creon’s tyranny and mortal law, almost a martyr; Creon suffers because his pride causes him to transgress a higher law, the law of the gods. Thus, the critical difference between the tragic value of the two characters lies in the nature and cause of their suffering.

In the end, Creon recognizes his flaws and in doing so reaches an elevated state of understanding. Though Antigone faces a tragic end she does not reveal as much about the human condition as does Creon, thus making Creon the focus of the play. Antigone is established as a representative of the gods’ laws and serves as a reminder to Creon of the will of the gods. He is the representative of mortal law. As such, he has disregarded the gods’ laws with his edict prohibiting the holy burial of Polyneices.

While Antigone’s fate is an obvious matter of her external end at the hands of Creon, Creon’s fate takes on a divine nature as it begins to develop in his character. Directly after Creon’s entrance his nature is introduced through the fear of the Sentry. The Sentry who says: “How dreadful it is when the right judge judges wrong! ” (203). Another voice of truth and reason enters with Haemon, Creon’s son and Antigone’s husband, who at first ingratiates Creon with filial loyalty and then subtly introduces the idea that Creon might be wrong: “… o not believe that you alone can be right. The man who thinks that, the man who maintains that only he has the power To reason correctly, the gift to speak, the soul– A man like that, when you know him, he turns out empty” (219). Here the reader is introduced to Creon’s tragic flaws: vanity and pride. Haemon goes on to tell his father: “you have no right to trample on God’s right” (221). Next enters Teiresias who reinforces Antigone and Haemon’s statements about the laws of the gods with his warning of bad omens.

Though Creon childishly scorns the prophet’s warnings on the surface, once Teiresias has exited and Creon is left alone with the chorus, he admits that “it is hard to give in! but it is worse to risk everything for stubborn pride” (235). Creon thus finally acknowledges the oncoming tragic fate of his bad judgment. In the end, Antigone operates as the sorrowful composition of a tragic figure whose suffering is the unfortunate result of the tragic flaw of the real tragic hero, Creon.

Do you like
this material?Get help to write a similar one

By focusing the play on the tragic heroism of Creon but having the foil of his character as the protagonist, Antigone, Sophocles creates a vision of tragedy which is as complex as the human condition it explores. Sophocles raises the question of man’s ultimate place in the universe with two characters, each representing different strata of the human spirit, torn between mortal and immortal law, free will and fate. He answers with the tragedy of Creon, who in the end finds wisdom and learns through his own suffering.

Author: Brandon Johnson

in Antigone

Antigone vs Creon as Tragic Hero in Sophocles’s “Antigone”. Quotes taken from harcourt/ Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald translation.

We have so large base of authors that we can prepare a unique summary of any book. Don't believe? Check it!

How fast would you like to get it?

Antigone vs. Creon – Comparative Essay

Get Your
Essay Written

Starting at Just $13.90 a page

Antigone vs. Creon The question you ask is between Antigone and Creon, who has the most credibility? I believe that Antigone clearly has full credibility for what she has done. She followed her heart to not only prove that she was going to do what was right but to do what would make herself and hopefully Polyneices happy. Antigone felt it was right to bury her brother because of her families beliefs. In Episode I, Antigone herself said, “If thus thou speakest, thou wilt have hatred from me and will justly be subject to the lasting hatred of the dead.

But leave me, and the folly that is mine alone, to suffer this dread thing; for I shall not suffer aught so dreadful as an ignoble death. ” (Sophocles). For Antigone to say that she would rather die than to have her brother not properly buried was a big thing to me. She obviously is willing to put her life on the line for her family, because she knows the consequences if she gets caught. Another reason that she should get credit is because she wasn’t afraid to stand up to the law. She is a very young, brave girl! I believe that Antigone is very stubborn yet, focused girl because she does what she wants without anyone getting in her way.

Once she was caught, she never denied burying her brother. When she was brought up to Creon, she instantly started explaining why she was right, “So for me to meet this doom is trifling grief; but if I had suffered my mother’s son to lie in death an unburied corpse, that would have grieved me; for this, I am not grieved. And if my present deeds are foolish in thy sight, it may be that a foolish judge arraigns my folly. ” (Sophocles). Yes, I do agree that Antigone went against Creon and the law but I don’t think that she should die because of what she believes is right. If you really think about it, burying her brother isn’t actually a crime.

That would be like punishing people for praying while they are out at dinner. It is their beliefs so they have the right to do what they need. Antigone should have the right to bury her brother because it is a family belief. The only reason Creon doesn’t want Polyneices to be buried is because Polyneices went against Thebes. That shouldn’t give him a right to kill anyone that touches Polyneices. Creon may have the right to punish Antigone but he should only be allowed to go so far. I honestly do believe that Antigone stood up and did what was right. She did what her heart told her to so, I believe that she should get full credit.

Author: Christen Curtis

in Antigone

Antigone vs. Creon – Comparative Essay

We have so large base of authors that we can prepare a unique summary of any book. Don't believe? Check it!

How fast would you like to get it?

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *