Antigone

  • Category: English
  • Words: 570
  • Grade: 100
The debate over who is the tragic hero in Antigone

continue on to this day. The belief that Antigone is the hero

is a strong one. There are many critics who believe,

however, that Creon, the Ruler of Thebes, is the true

protagonist. I have made my own judgments also, based on

what I have researched of this work by Sophocles. Antigone

is widely thought of as the tragic hero of the play bearing her

name. She would seem to fit the part in light of the fact that

she dies in doing what is right. She buries her brother

without worrying what might happen to her. She "Takes into

consideration death and the reality that may be beyond

death" (Hathorn 59). Those who do believe that Antigone

was meant to be the true 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

his country. "His patriotism is to narrow and negative and his

conception of justice is too exclusive... to be dignified by the

name of love for the state" (Hathorn 59). These arguments,

and many others, make many people believe the Antigone is

the rightful protagonist. Many critics argue that Creon is the

tragic hero of Antigone. They say that his noble quality is his

caring for Antigone and Ismene when thier father was

persecuted. Those who stand behind Creon also argue that

Antigone never had a 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 a punishment worse than death. My

opinion on this debate is that Antigone is the tragic hero. She

tries to help her brother without worrying about what will

happen to her. She says, "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 was also

punished for doing what was right. Her epiphany came,

hidden from the audience, before she hung herself. Creon's

"nobleness" of taking in young Antigone and Ismene is

overshadowed by his egotistical nature. He will not allow

justice to come about simply because he wants to protect his

image. He says, "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

is the true protagonist. But, if you define the word

protagonist you would find that a protagonist is one who is a

leader or supporter of a cause. Antigone is in support of her

own actions in the burial of her brother Polyneices. She

entrusts 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 say Antigone never

had an epiphany. Who would understand it if their own

brother were left to the birds and dogs. There would be no

rational thinking involved in a act like this. These are

arguments envolved in deciding who is the tragic hero of

Antigone. Critics, to this day, still argue about who is the

tragic hero of Antigone. Many say that Antigone is the

heroin. Others say that it is Creon. My research favors

Antigone as the perfect protagonist. No matter who the

reader sides with, it is agreed by most that there is a valid

argument either way, in light of the fact that they both endure

great hardships. Charles Woerner Dr. Walton English 12
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