The Tragic Hero Of Sophocles ' Oedipus The King Essay

1157 Words 5 Pages
The story of Oedipus, as presented in Oedipus the King, was the original outline for Aristotle’s criteria of a tragic hero. While Oedipus meets the criteria to become the tragic hero of his own story, in the play Antigone the hero is not so clearly defined. The two contenders for tragic hero in Antigone are Creon, king of Thebes, and Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, former king of Thebes. While both of these characters meet several of the characteristics of the tragic hero, neither completely fulfills all of the requirements and the reader must look further into the play to discover who is the real tragic hero. Initially, many readers may view Creon as the protagonist of the play, since his demise is based on his hubris, but Antigone is the actual protagonist. Although Creon’s self-inflicted tragedy is similar to the idea of the tragic hero, Antigone is the tragic hero of the play, because, while her downfall was ultimately fatal, she continued to be a relatable character.
In the play, Antigone reveals the she wishes to defy Creon’s decree and give her late brother, a traitor of Thebes, a proper burial to honor the gods. Antigone is aware that her actions will cause her downfall, but she continues to do what she believes is right. Later, she is caught after having buried her brother and reveals that she was fully aware of the consequences of her actions and is prepared to die. “You chose to live, I chose to die/… Courage! Live your life. I gave myself to death,/ long ago, so I…

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