Who Is More Tragic, Creon or Antigone? Essay

848 Words Dec 10th, 2011 4 Pages
The Imperfect Hero
For many people who knew Pat Tillman, he was an American Hero, who forestalled his professional football career and joined the army after seeing his country attacked on 911. He valiantly fought for his country and for his beliefs, and even when Pat died in Afghanistan in 2004, his memory lives on in the minds of many people. According to Aristotle, the hero is not a true hero like Pat Tillman, but rather a person who has serious flaws that lead to the downfall of the character. In Antigone, both Creon and Antigone share some tragic elements: tragic hero, hamartia, hubris, and nemesis. However, Creon is a more tragic hero than Antigone because his character has tragic elements that are absent from the character of
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Unlike Antigone, Creon has to suffer the reversal of his fortune: both his son and wife commit suicide. His reversal of fortune is caused unwittingly by the error of judgment of going against the rules of the gods. In contrast, Antigone does not seem to have the tragic element of peripeteia. As soon as Antigone is caught by the guard, her fate is sealed for the rest of the play. It could be argued that her peripeteia is the moment she gets caught. However, it seems that her fate has already been determined long before that, when she decides to bury Polynices saying, “I will bury him myself.” (Sophocles 63).
The last and most important criterion that makes Creon a more tragic hero than Antigone is that Creon’s actions arouse pity and fear from the audience while Antigone’s actions do not. From the beginning the audience recognizes that Creon has committed the most egregious mistake possible by forbidding the citizens of Thebes from burying the dead body of Polynices, an act that defies the laws of the gods and of humanity (Sophocles 60). However, because of his hubris Creon could not see his error. For this reason, the audience has pity for Creon, for no one can defy the gods and be able to avoid the consequence. The audience also has a fear for Creon because of his unpredictability. If he is not afraid of the gods, then what else he is capable of or willing to do to “protect his royal rights.” (Sophocles 98). So when Creon finally realizes his

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