Antigone

Creon is a better example of a tragic hero than Antigone in “Antigone”.
This is known by their actions. Creon is better than Antigone because of the
decisions each made, the loyalty exerted by them, their punishment, hubris, and the
outcome of the story.
One way to conclude that Creon is a better tragic hero is to look at the
decisions that each have made. One of the decisions of Antigone was to go against
Creon in the laws. Another one of her decisions was to kill herself (Antigone 22).
These decisions of Antigone do not illustrate her being a tragic hero. Creon
decided to hold to the law and sentence Antigone to death (Antigone 14). He also
decided to go back on his word after he heard Teiresias’ prophecy (Antigone 26).
Creon’s stubbornness and single minded-ness causes him to have the tragic flaw of
being to late, which brings him to his ruin (Introduction to Antigone vii).
Creon was very loyal. He especially showed his faith to the law.
Even though Antigone was to be his sons wife he was unrelenting with his choice
to kill Antigone (Antigone 14). This caused a chain reaction of family killings,
which in turn led to Creon’s unhappiness. Antigone was loyal to her family and
what she believed in. She had to give her brother, Polynices, a proper burial
(Antigone 4). This also led to her death but it was not quite as tragic as the blood
bath Creon had inadvertently created.



Hubris is an important factor in determining who is a better tragic hero.
Clearly Creon has more hubris than Antigone. Creon shows his hubris when he
would not see the reasoning of Antigone and his own son, Haemon (Antigone 13,
16). It took a terrible prophecy from Teiresias to make Creon see the error of his
way and finally put an end to his madness (Antigone 26). There was no doubt in
Creon’s mind that he was wrong until this happened, he was too wrapped up in
himself to even care. Antigone on the other hand was just stubborn with her
beliefs as far as giving her brother a proper burial, and would not see the ways of
Creon’s laws. She had such a problem with the fact that Creon said Eteocles was
to receive a proper burial and Polynices was not because he was an enemy of the
state (Antigone Handout). However, this was not a single minded approach as
Creon’s had been, it was merely a matter of right and wrong.
There was also a heavy punishment for both Creon and Antigone.
Antigone got sentenced to death (Antigone 14). Antigone’s punishment, which
could have been totally avoided if she hadn’t been so foolish in her ways, was
death (Antigone 14). Her punishment was short and less painful. Creon’s harsh
punishment was to live with the guilt of three deaths, the crumbled government
and his wild emotions that he had caused (Antigone 30). His son’s death, his
wife’s death and Antigone’s death were all caused by him. The rest of his life will
forever be plagued with this tragedy and he will not be able to think the same way
ever again.
The outcome of the story also helps to prove Creon is a better tragic hero
than Antigone. In the end Antigone just killed herself and that was the end of her
suffering (Antigone 22). Creon, on the other hand, was responsible and he felt
guilty for many other deaths including Antigone’s (Antigone 30). Creon was now
also viewed as a bad ruler because many of the people were with Antigone on her
beliefs and now that she has died (Antigone 18). Creon will have to deal with this
and try to fix his marred image and repair his broken government.
In conclusion Creon is a better tragic hero than Antigone. The factors that
help to determine who is better are their decisions, loyalty, punishment, hubris, and
the outcome. In each of these examples Creon had stronger reasons for being a
better tragic hero than Antigone.