Creon: A Tragic Hero Essay

742 words - 3 pages

The qualifications of a tragic hero vary between Aristotle and Shakespeare. Aristotle thinks of a tragic hero as someone who is a noble character by choice and makes his/her own destiny, while Shakespeare sees a tragic hero as someone who is born of nobility and born to be important. Although both tragic hero's end in a tragic death that effects many people, not all tragic hero's fit perfectly into both categories. In Sophocles’ Antigone, Creon is considered a tragic hero. Creon follows Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero by being a noble character by choice, having important potential, and falls due to "miscalculations" with circumstances that are beyond control.
Being noble does not always mean being a ruler, or a member of a royal family. Being noble can mean many other things. In Antigone, Creon becomes a noble character by choice when he slowly and secretly advances himself to the throne. Creon sits back and gives advice while Oedipus is king, and while his two sons were fighting over the crown. Once all of the competition is gone, Creon takes the thrown, " I, as you know, in right of kinship nearest to the dead, poses the throne and take the supreme power"(8). Creon gained the respect of his people and when he says to do something, they do it, "I have given orders to the citizens"(9). Creon is not born into power, he wants it and by his own will, he becomes noble.
Not everyone who is noble is important, or has important potential. Creon continues to fall under Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero because of his important potential. Being the ruler, Creon makes all of the decisions in Thebes and everyone looks to him for direction. Creon is seen as the savior who took rule when nobody else could, "Right loyal ever to the Kingly power"(7). Polynices and Etocles, Oedipus's sons, fight over the throne, and neither wins, "Laid lances at aim-to their own death came. And the common fate that slew them"(7). The tragedy of their deaths rumors around Thebes, when Creon comes to the rescue, “But now loud Victory returns at last...the...

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