Sei sulla pagina 1di 2

Project # 1 A Tragic Hero 27

Mangao, Michael Kevin Edgar B.

The story of Antigone, her pity to the unburied corpse of her brother, Polyneices, and her
subsequent defiance of civil law to honour divine law by burying her brother in secret, lead us to
discover the tragic hero of the story, Creon. Although, we must not assume that kind of label for
the character without further deliberation of the plot and the characters specifications that must
be in line with that of a valid tragic hero. Now, in order to prove that Creon passes the
requirements for a tragic hero, we must base it to the characteristics Aristotle proposed to be
labelled as such. A tragic hero is supposed to be of noble character with an inherent goodness,
not exceeding and none-too-heroic either. The individuals fall is to be caused not by an accident
and not by a natural calamity but by his own action by his own freewill due to his lack of
flawlessness. Note that the tragic act of a hero is oftentimes caused by overconfidence in
judgement fuelled by pride and rashness. Such acts is called hamartia or tragic mistake which
is caused by a blindness caused by pride, weakness in character, and temporal lack of morality in
a situation. Sometimes, an individuals tragic fate is even caused by a gods intervention. In any
way, a tragic fall will always result in a Peripeteia or the heros change of fortune,
Anagnorisis or the heros realization of the tragedy he is in because of one critical action or a
revelation of something sad and horrible worthy of pity and suffering, and Pathos the
extraction of emotion to the audience and their subsequent empathy for the character.
So why do we choose Creon as the tragic hero in Antigone? What caused him to be as
such? Creon is a noble and in the setting, he assumes the throne again after both Eteocles and
Polyneices (both were supposedly entitled to the throne) die in battle with one another.
Furthermore, Creon is a man who would prefer to avoid trouble as much as possible and also
admits that he is not a man befitting the shoes of a king (which contributes to his low-quality of
character), and in his ascent again to the throne as regent for Laodamas (Eteocles son), he meant
to restore order and peace again after the recent civil war in Thebes which gives him a mere
semblance of good since he also meant the best for the city. However, his rash decision of
implementing the edict that Eteocles is to be given the proper burial and for Polyneices to rot
unburied and subsequently (with a contrasting effect) sentencing Antigone to be buried alive in a
cave for her defiance of the law was by a man shrouded with overconfidence. His excessive
pride drove him to not be swayed by even his own son, Haemon. Creons decisions at the
moment gave him a depiction of a man blinded with immorality and pride. These decisions were
in itself his tragic mistakes and his third chance of redemption, when he finally sought and
followed Tiresias advice, he was too late: for rather than follow the Chorus of Elders advice to
free Antigone first, Creon sought to bury Polyneices first.
In the end, Creon did befall a tragic fate. True, he might have had good intentions but still
he was a weak King, bound to decisions that may often times go wrong. One important thing to
note is that Creon himself knows he is weak, he knows he must hold up to his standards and must
never let go of his vows and pride (especially edicts) so that he could appear strong which could
just be the reason why he could not be swayed by Haemon, his son. One critical moment that
could have saved him from his impending Peripeteia was the advice of the Chorus of Elders to
free first Antigone. Instead, he had to defy this one advice which eventually led him to
Anagnorisis or a change from ignorance to knowledge a realization of a great mistake: For
when he discovered his wife, Eurydice, had also committed suicide, he knew, he had done wrong
in that one critical moment. Furthermore, he must have realized that his edict was the one that
caused all this tragedy before him in the first place. Creons weakness as a king and confidence
to defy the divine law albeit with good intentions, made him declare such an edict, and this edict
or law, borne from his demeaning qualities, made him the tragic hero of Antigone.