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Aeneas Compared to the Tragic Heroes

  • Date Submitted: 03/29/2010 07:19 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65.7 
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      Who is the tragic hero in Antigone? In order to determine the tragic hero, it is important to first have a workable definition.   The traditional definition, according to Aristotle, consists of several qualities.   A tragic hero will be of high estate and power, neither morally perfect nor superior through virtue and justice.   He also does not fall from prosperity to hardships due to a lack of virtue or justice, but from a tragic flaw.   This tragic flaw, or hamartia, inevitably leads to an error in judgment.   Unlike Antigone, Creon fits Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero completely.   Creon and Antigone both share the quality of prosperity and power, and they also are not superior through virtue.   However, Antigone does not have a tragic flaw, and she falls into misfortune from a just action.   Creon falls because of a tragic flaw, pride.   Creon, rather than Antigone, fits the Aristotelian definition of a tragic hero in Sophocles’ Antigone.
      Creon is surely of high estate, as he is the King of Thebes.   Antigone is also of high estate, as she is a princess and has significant power in her own right.   In this regard, it is possible to argue for either Antigone or Creon, but Creon is definitely the most renowned and prosperous character in the tragedy as he has power over everyone in Thebes, including Antigone.
      In regards to the virtues of Creon compared to Antigone, both Creon and Antigone are not pre-eminent through virtue and justice, both practice virtues and justice, but lack perfection in them.   Antigone disobeys the legal laws decreed by Creon, but her cause was just and not a moral crime.   Creon is not an evil man, and he does not wish to punish Antigone, but his stubbornness and pride drive him to his decision.   If it were not for his tragic flaw, pride, Creon might not have arrested and sentenced Antigone.
      This is the critical difference between Creon and Antigone: they do not both fall from...


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