The Real Hero
Who is the tragic hero in Antigone? Obviously since the play is called Antigone many people would assume that it is Antigone, but with Creon being so dominate in the play and Antigone being gone for the last third of the play is it really Antigone or is it Creon When the play first opens you see Antigone and Ismene talking Antigone says “They say that Creon has sworn / No one shall bury him, no one mourn for him, / but his body must lie in the fields, a sweet treasure” (Pro. 19-21) They are Discussing the new law Creon has made and how Antigone is going to bury her brother Polyneices. At this point Antigone looks like the tragic hero, and as the play moves forward it will change. As she starts to bury her brother a second time she gets caught by the sentry. After she is caught she tries to explain to Creon that he is going against the rule of the gods:
ANTIGONE. I dared.
It was not God’s proclamation. That final Justice
That rules the world makes no such laws. Your edict,King, was strong,
but all your strength is weakness itself against
The immortal laws of God.
They are not merely now: they were, and shall be,
Operative forever, beyond man utterly. (II 57-64)
As Antigone explains that it is not God’s ruling but only Creon’s and that it is wrong Creon’s Hubris ignores the law of the gods and thinks he can out rule them. Creon says : “No , Teiresais: / If your birds-if the great eagles of God himself / Should carry him stinking bit by bit to heaven, / I would not yield.” (V 44-47) He shows his tragic flaw here where he ignores the gods because of his ruling and his opinion on Polyneicies . He ignores the direct warning from Teiresais to lift his law or he will have his house full of men and women weeping, “ corpse for corpse, flesh of your own flesh . / you have thrust the child of this world into living night, / you have kept from the gods below the child that is theirs:” (V 73-74) These lines are…
The Real Hero