Oedipus Rex

Is the tragic hero Antigone or Creon?



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Creon is the tragic hero of Antigone. He matches Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero exactly. He is of noble birth, because he is the king and because he was formerly the brother of the queen (Jocasta) and the uncle of the king (Eteocles). Second is his flaw, which is hubris, overbearing pride. He is so overconfident in himself that he ignores the law of the gods and everyone else's advice. The reversal of fortune happened directly after it was predicted by Teiresias, his entire family was lost, and his attempt to right his wrongs failed completely. Then the anagnorisis takes place and he realizes what he has done wrong. The weight of what he had done comes crashing down on him, the fact that all that happened was his fault. Antigone also fits some of these qualities, but not all. One can say that she is stubborn, but that doesn't really qualify as hamartia because it doesn't really cause the downfall of everything. The reversal of fortune was caused by Creon's mistakes. Plus, there is no realization by her before she dies. Instead she is steadfast in her belief that she is doing the right thing. Though Creon DOES display many of the tragic hero traits, Antigone, herself, may also be considered the tragic hero of Antigone. A tragic hero is described as a "literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy". In this specific play, Antigone's fatal flaw would be burying her brother against the will of Creon. This caused the crisis at the end of the story. Her death was the beginning of the chain of deaths of Haemon and Eurdyices.