Antigone: Who Is The Tragic Hero? EssayCharles WoernerThe debate over who is the tragic hero in Antigone continue on to thisday.
The belief that Antigone is the hero is a strong one. There are manycritics who believe, however, that Creon, the Ruler of Thebes, is the trueprotagonist. I have made my own judgments also, based on what I have researchedof this work by Sophocles. Antigone is widely thought of as the tragic hero of the play bearing hername. She would seem to fit the part in light of the fact that she dies indoing what is right.
She buries her brother without worrying what might happento her. She “Takes into consideration death and the reality that may be beyonddeath” (Hathorn 59). Those who do believe that Antigone was meant to be thetrue tragic hero argue against others who believe that Creon deserves that honor. They say that the Gods were against Creon, and that he did not truly love hiscountry. “His patriotism is to narrow and negative and his conception of justiceis too exclusive.
. . to be dignified by the name of love for the state” (Hathorn59). These arguments, and many others, make many people believe the Antigone isthe rightful protagonist. Many critics argue that Creon is the tragic hero of Antigone. They saythat his noble quality is his caring for Antigone and Ismene when thier fatherwas persecuted.
Those who stand behind Creon also argue that Antigone never hada true epiphany, a key element in being a tragic hero. Creon, on the other hand,realized his mistake when Teiresias made his prophecy. He is forced to live,knowing that three people are dead because of his ignorance, which is apunishment worse than death. My opinion on this debate is that Antigone is the tragic hero.
Shetries to help her brother without worrying about what will happen to her. Shesays, “I intend to give my brother burial. I’ll be glad to die in the attempt,-if it’s a crime, then it’s a crime that God commands” (Sophocles 4). She wasalso punished for doing what was right. Her epiphany came, hidden from theaudience, before she hung herself.
Creon’s “nobleness” of taking in youngAntigone and Ismene is overshadowed by his egotistical nature. He will notallow justice to come about simply because he wants to protect his image. Hesays, “If she gets away with this behavior, call me a woman and call her a man”(Sophocles 13). These elements prove that Antigone is the tragic hero.
Creon, understanding his ignorance may lead one to believe that he isthe true protagonist. But, if you define the word protagonist you would findthat a protagonist is one who is a leader or supporter of a cause. Antigone isin support of her own actions in the burial of her brother Polyneices. Sheentrusts that she is doing what the Gods want, contrary to the belief of Creon. Many readers and critics may say Creon suffered greator hardships.
Some may sayAntigone never had an epiphany. Who would understand it if their own brotherwere left to the birds and dogs. There would be no rational thinking involvedin a act like this. These are arguments envolved in deciding who is the tragichero of Antigone. Critics, to this day, still argue about who is the tragic hero ofAntigone. Many say that Antigone is the heroin.
Others say that it is Creon. My research favors Antigone as the perfect protagonist. No matter who thereader sides with, it is agreed by most that there is a valid argument eitherway, in light of the fact that they both endure great hardships. English .