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Creon's Tragoc Fall


Submitted By Joe120
Words 1758
Pages 8
English 132
April 8, 2012

Creon’s Tragic Fall: A Look at Sophocles’ Antigone

A tragic hero is defined by Aristotle’s Poetics as the protagonist in the story to whom something happens that elicits pity from the audience. For the most part, a tragic hero is a “virtuous” person whose life changes from being prosperous to being a life full of misfortune (Aristotle, Poetics). In other words, the tragic hero is someone of great social standing who begins the story at a very high point, but suffers their downfall because of a tragic flaw.
In Sophocles’ Antigone the central theme of this play is the struggle between Antigone and her uncle Creon. The issue of burying Antigone’s brother Polynices is based on the ancient Greek philosophy of death, where any unburied body condemns its soul to torment. Basically, it was the duty of the family to bury their dead. Yet, this issue extended beyond family loyalty to a decree of piety by the gods. However, in the play, Creon goes against this celestial decree because he sees Polynices as a traitor for warring against him as a member of another army. As a means to set an example about the repercussions of disloyalty, Creon issues an edict to leave him unburied. As a man who starts the drama in as the respected king of Thebes, he gradually loses his family, his objectivity, and his power to his stubbornness and hubris that ultimately results in his downfall. Hence, Creon is a tragic hero in the Sophocles’ Antigone because his unbending pride results in tragic downfall as king of Thebes.
One way Creon is a tragic hero is through his desire to have unchallenged authority over Thebes. As king of Thebes, Creon maintains his political stance that traitors should not be given the dignity of burial. Thus, he issues an edict that bars anyone from burying Polynices after he fights in a rebellion against his rule. However, his sister

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