Creon is often mentioned together the tragic hero in Antigone, the 3rd of the Theban plays. Is it possible, though, the an Antigone catastrophic hero essay can take another tack? Is it feasible there is an ext than one tragic hero of Antigone?


A catastrophic hero is most frequently a character who, regardless of their great intentions, is doomed to fail, experiencing or defeat. Ordinarily, the hero’s own hubris or other character defect is the reason of your downfall. The most classic tragic hero the all, that course, is Oedipus himself. Doomed from even before his birth by a prophecy, Oedipus does every he deserve to to prevent his fate. His very own pride and also lack of understanding work versus him, and in the end, the fulfills the tragic prophecy.

His storyline ends, and also that that his children picks up in Antigone. Catastrophic hero story ordinarily save on computer a personality who falls to their very own hubris.

How is Antigone a tragic hero?

Her heroism’s tragedy is a bit an ext subtle 보다 that the Creon’s due to the fact that her “fatal flaw” is a hopeful trait quite than a negative one. She flaw is not pride nor hubris, yet rather a fierce dedication and love of her family.

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How Is Antigone a Hero?

The an initial criteria because that being a “tragic hero” is, the course, because that a character to be a hero. A hero is well-known for unexplained “courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” Antigone fulfills all three criteria. She reflects a an excellent deal of ship both in Oedipus at Colonus, as soon as she steadfastly accompanies she father, and in Antigone. She courage becomes clean from the play’s opening lines, when she vows to her sister Ismene the she will bury your brother, v or without Creon’s approval. Her loyalty to her family members is stronger than her are afraid of the penalty promised by the king. 

Her outstanding success includes going, in the night, and defying the orders of her uncle, Creon, to bury her brothers Polyneices. To do this, she need to slip previous the guards and also do daunting and heavy work very quickly and also likely in the dark, as secretively together possible.

Her noble character is express in she unwavering loyalty to her family. Her character is subtly emphasized in ~ the start of the play when she meets Ismene to educate her of she plans. Ismene, fearing Creon’s wrath, refuses to join her sister or help her. Antigone announces the she will certainly go v or there is no Ismene’s help. Ismene begs her no to lug out together a foolish and also reckless act, yet Antigone is determined and also leaves the royal residence while she sister return to her very own rooms, as well afraid the the aftermath to stand as much as Creon’s stubbornness.

The Tragedy the Antigone

The “tragic” component is a bit an ext complicated. Ordinarily, a tragic hero is doomed by part flaw in their very own character. Oedipus to be doomed by his lack of knowledge- not understanding he to be adopted. He to be the victim the two an unfavorable traits: ignorance and also hubris. His attempts come circumvent the prophecy and also the will of the gods are borne of his id that he deserve to outrun the prediction. Oedipus, ~ above hearing the prophecy the he will murder his father and marry his mother, flees. And also by fleeing indigenous his home in Corinth to shot to to escape the prophecy, that unknowingly puts himself in the place of fulfilling it. 

Antigone does not endure hubris, no one is she ignorant of she situation. She understands she uncle’s decree and the risk of defying it, yet she chooses to threat Creon’s anger in donate of her loyalty to her family. Antigone recognizes Creon’s stubbornness and insists top top going against his unjust decree to ask her dead brother, a noble gesture. While it can be argued that Antigone’s proud is what cd driver her, it is daunting to deny the ship of her sacrifice.

Why is Antigone the catastrophic Hero?

The play Antigone is unusual because it consists of two catastrophic heros. The an ext obvious one is Creon, who stubborn pride prices him almost everything. Having currently lost his two nephews to war, he loser his niece and also his very own son. The catastrophic losses that Antigone and Creon’s son could have been avoided. But why is Antigone a catastrophic hero? In large part, the reason of her martyrdom is Creon’s pride. 


The uncle and his niece are both strong-willed characters. Antigone shows unusual courage for a woman in Greek mythology. While most women are depicted as wives, daughters, or mothers, Antigone has lost a father, and her husband theatre a fairly minor component in the conflict. Her commitment to her brother and her insistence on giving him proper burial rights contrast sharply with other characters’ behaviors.

Her very own mother, Jocasta, when tried to have actually her son, Oedipus, murdered as an child to stop the catastrophic prophecy. Because of Jocasta’s absence of will and strength to lug out the deed herself, Oedipus lived. It is fate why Antigone and her siblings that Jocasta failed. They would not have actually existed if Oedipus had passed away as one infant. The siblings’ an extremely existence was cursed through the relationship Oedipus gone into with his own biological mother, who likewise became his children’s mother.

Ismene’s character is more typical the a mrs in Greek mythology. Indecisive and aware of she “place” in the royal residence hierarchy, Ismene refuses come go versus authority. She begs Antigone come think of her, discovering she will be left alone if Antigone’s deed is discovered. She is terrified because that Antigone, but not solid enough to sign up with her in her defiance. The is not until after the deed is carried out the Ismene do the efforts to sign up with Antigone in her punishment, so that she won’t have to live without her sister. 

Ismene is weak and indecisive, however her sister has a stamin of character. Antigone’s loyalty and also steadfastness gave her the toughness to do what she felt was right. She stood versus Creon’s decree to walk to the battlefield and give Polyneices a an ideal burial. She has already lost she father and both brothers, and also she refuses to watch her brother’s human body desecrated.

Women in Greek mythology faced very different challenges from their male counterparts. Oedipus’ fight with authority was more open. He combated Laius, and also unknowingly eliminated his own father. Later he faced the Sphinx terrorizing the area, and defeated that together well. 

Antigone acted in defiance that authority, standing up versus her uncle’s unjust orders. Her fight to be much more passive than Oedipus’ had actually been, yet it to be equally difficult. Defying the king meant details death. Antigone entered her battle completely aware that the consequences of she actions. She understood her very own life a reasonable price to pay for her dead brother’s dignity and also her commitment to her sibling’s memory.

Antigone pays the Price

When Creon to learn of she disobedience, that confronts her, however she refuses to earlier down, reminding him that the an extremely law that nature and the gods space on her side. Creon, furious at gift defied by a woman, insists that he would certainly rather have her executed than spare her together his young future wife. Haemon, Creon’s son, is predictably upset at his father’s stubborn refuse to pardon his cousin/wife. Even with Ismene pleading for her sister’s life, Creon refuses to preventive her.

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Finally, he is encouraged to seal her into a tomb rather than have her directly executed. The declares that due to the fact that she wished her brother buried, she will have her wish, however she will sign up with him, sealed for eternity in a tomb. 

Once more, Ismene’s lack of stamin is supplied as a subtle comparison to emphasize Antigone’s courage. Ismene begs come be allowed to sign up with her sister in death, but Antigone refuses, saying her life “is enough.” Ismene, distraught, pipeline the room and is not heard indigenous again in the play. She was unable to sign up with her sister in committing the crime the defying Creon. Antigone will not permit her one of two people the horror or the respect of joining she in fatality for a crime she did not commit. 

It is not till the remote prophet, Tiresias, comes and informs Creon the he has brought the wrath of the gods upon Thebes with his stubborn refusal to accomplish the natural law and also bury Polyneices that he relents. He goes to the tomb v Haemon to release Antigone, but they discover that she has actually hung it s her in despair upon arrival upon come upon arrival.

Antigone’s critical act the defiance was to join her father and brothers in death. In ~ this moment, she i do not care a important tragic hero. Pride and fear drove her to cave herself just before she would have been rescued and released from her fate. Haemon, furious and also grieving, swings his knife to death his very own father in revenge for his bride. That misses and stabs himself. That dies v Antigone, and also Creon is left with only the weaker that the sisters.