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A Tragic Hero / Heroine

  • Date Submitted: 08/31/2010 02:08 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55.1 
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The Tragic Hero or Heroine
Creon from The Theban Trilogy by Sophocles is an example of a tragic hero because he is neither competely virtuous nor utterly villainous. Near the ending of Oedipus the King, Creon displays good intentions when he states he will care for Antigone and Ismene when Oedipus is persecuted. Creon can be considered a righteous man when he issues the edict concerning the burial of Polyneicies in Antigone. He believes that Polyneices had betrayed Thebes by raising arms against the city, and that traitors should not be honored; they should not be given a proper burial. Creon   is villainous in some ways because he is a controlling king and demands for the citizens of Thebes to follow his decrees without asking if the people agree if they are lawful.   When Haimon asks Creon to rule with consideration of the population's opinion, Creon becomes competely out of control and insists that he does not want citizens to tell him how to rule. Creon exhibits his anger through insulting   or   blaming others. For example, when a sentry tells Creon that someone has buried Polyneices, Creon becomes enraged and accuses the sentry in his presence of committing the crime.
The downfall of Creon is brought upon him by an error of judgement because he decides to sentence Antigone to death despite the fact she put gods' laws over his own given edicts. Even though the Chorus, Ismene, and Haimon try to change his mind, Creon remains stubborn and eventually leaves Antigone to die in an enclosed tomb. Though Creon eventually finds his fault in following his own laws over the gods' and attempts to free Antigone from her tomb, he does not arrive in time to prevent her suicide.
A tragic hero is "highly renowned or prosperous", meaning he must be of high birth or extremely successful. Creon's royalty is stated at the beginning of Scene I of Antigone, when he says to the Chorus, " Unfortunately, as you know, his two sons, the princes Eteocles and Polyneices, have killed...


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