In Sophocles' Antigone, Creon best fulfills the requirements of the tragic hero. Support this claim with quotes and paraphrases - Essay Example

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Insert Name Tutor Course Date Introduction The authorship of Sophocles’ Antigone dates back to 441 BC and features as the last of the three Theban plays, though it was the first to be written. The striking features of Antigone is not only seen in it predating and expanding on the Theban play legend and picking up from Aeschylus’ Seven against Thebes, but also in the way it builds the theme of Creon fulfilling the requirements of a tragic hero…
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In Sophocles Antigone, Creon best fulfills the requirements of the tragic hero. Support this claim with quotes and paraphrases
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Insert Introduction The hip of Sophocles’ Antigone s back to 441 BC and features as the last of the three Theban plays, though it was the first to be written. The striking features of Antigone is not only seen in it predating and expanding on the Theban play legend and picking up from Aeschylus’ Seven against Thebes, but also in the way it builds the theme of Creon fulfilling the requirements of a tragic hero. According to Aristotle, the concept of harmatia is central in tragedies. This is to the effect that a tragedy must have a central character who has a flaw in his behavioral traits. This is totally complicit with Creon’s status given that it is a flaw in his behavioral predisposition that leads to his eventual capitulation. In this case, Creon’s hubris is what leads to his downfall. Creon’s hubris inspires his ironfisted rule. Creon’s autocratic mien is made manifest in the way he inculcates fear in his subjects. An instance in which this fear is displayed is seen in the instance in which Antigone requests Ismene to contravene the law. At this point, Ismene in scene I fearfully replies, saying, “Think of how deaths terrible than these, our deaths will be, should we go against Creon” (Barnet, William and William, 441). Creon’s pride is nevertheless epitomized in him querying the laws of the gods- a thing which the Greeks considered sacrilege. In scene I, this unfortunate event comes into play when Creon issues the command that, “Polyneices… should have no burial: no man should touch him or pray for him; he shall on the plain lie, unburied” (Barnet, William and William, 444). Since the parados in Antigone does not only serve as a form of catharsis (emotional relief and purification) for the audience but also as prologue, its consideration as a way of reconstructing Creon’s action suffices. Going by the parados precluding the play, it is most plausible, that Creon’s hard stance comes against a backdrop of a bruising battle. Just as the rest of Thebans, Creon was definitely angry at Polyneices for having betrayed and attacked them. However, Creon should have respected the fact that the gods demanded proper burial rituals. Although some point out at Antigone as the character likely to serve as the tragic hero, yet she does not fit this description more than Creon on several counts. On one count, it is important to note that despite Antigone having the same flaw with her uncle Creon’s, her hubris does not match her uncle’s. In spite of her being proud, she shows some aspects of modesty. In her stanza Epode, she says that it is no longer right for unhappy her to view the holy eye of light. In relation to the foregoing, it is important to note that part of what is considered Antigone’s pride is partially self-confidence which is a meaningful virtue. An instance where this self-confidence shows is seen in her stating in the 86th to 90th lines of Exodus that: “Nothing you say can touch me any more. My own blind heart has brought me From darkness. Here you see The father murdering, the murdered son-- And all my civic wisdom!” (Robert, 420) Apart from harmatia, the protagonist or the central character must be in a high state. Usually, the protagonist is a partaker of royalty (queen, king, princess or prince) or one who posses extraordinary abilities in battle or wisdom. It is from this status that the protagonist must fall, in order to bring about the aspect of tragedy. In the three episodes that succeed the parados in Antigone, Creon is an exceedingly wealthy and powerful king. What makes his royalty outstanding is the immense depth of loyalty that he enjoys from his subjects. Thus, the wealth, power and the loyalty and fear that Creon obtains from the hoi polloi do not only present Creon with dignity, but a position from whence he should fall. The aforementioned loyalty plays out in the instance Creon issues the decree on Polyneices’ burial. Particularly, in Scene I, Choragos as the representative and the spokesperson of the masses tells Creon, “If that is your will, then you Creon, son of Menoikus have the right to enforce it: we are all yours” (Barnet, William and William, 444). Reflection and Conclusion Stories such Antigone may not just be sidestepped as myths, especially when the story of Creon comes into consideration. On the converse, it is important that people factor the reality that Antigone exists for the admonition of the rest of humanity. By extension, the essence of the story is that humanity is entirely weak despite the many achievements it may realize. The consummation of human weakness is death. This notion is well underscored in the two strophes and two antistrophes that divide the ode into four sections. As a chorus, Strophe II elaborates the achievements of man but reiterates that man has an inevitable destiny with death. The same is underscored by the first Stasimon of Antigone. Herein, the chorus praises the awesomeness of man as the most outstanding wonder in the universe. These two alludes to Creon’s achievements and his tragic end that would be brought about by fatal pride. The rest of mankind has an appointment with this reality, given that despite its achievements, it still has an appointment with death. The crux of the matter herein is that there is no room for pride in mankind. Works Cited Barnet, Sylvan, William, Burto & William E. Cain. Literature for Composition: Reading and Writing Arguments about Essays, Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2007, 8th Ed. Print Robert, William. “Antigone's Nature.” Hypatia, 25.2 (2010), 412-436. 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