Creon as The Tragic Hero in Aristotle's Antigone

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Creon out of his pride kills his own wife and son out of selfishness which make him a true tragic hero. Creon is a character who so caught up with what others think. Creon is isolated character who keeps to himself his plans and acts. He is very misleading character tries to lead others to crime. Creon faces dishonesty from others and sees the true character of people he thought he could trust. Creon as the protagonist with his stubborn personality makes him a true tragic hero.

Aristotle made Creon the tragic hero in the book Antigone. His definition of ,“A tragic hero is the protagonist of the story”(Tragic Hero Pattern).“ A tragic hero is a character in the book that takes action. A tragic hero is the core principal of inconsistency in some one very important. A tragic hero is a character that has plenty of flaws.”(Tragic Hero Pattern). “A tragic hero is a character with a urge to be apart of action. A tragic hero is A character that makes plenty of mistakes. A tragic hero is the murderer that takes away someone life”(Tragic Hero Pattern). A tragic hero is a character who is independent and likes to think of their next move. Aristotle uses Creon in the book to show his to define A tragic hero.

Sophocles the author of The Oedipus Trilogy made multiple books to describe Creon and Antigones conflict. The character,“Creon is manipulative and declares that anyone attempting to bury Polynices be buried”(The Oedipus Trilogy).Creon is very cringe character and uses his power to destroy others. All the characters in The Oedipus Trilogy go behind Creons back to disrespect his orders. “Antigone goes off alone to bury Ismene brother Polynices without Creons notice” (“The Oedipus Trilogy”). Sophocles uses Creon in the book to show his cruelty use of power that he calls a tragic hero.

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Sophocles describes Creon as a ruthless leader of Thebes. Creon set his order on the body of Polynices telling the people of Thebes not to touch his body. Creon out of anger questions Antigone of the crime. Antigone denies the crime and Ismene feeling sorry for his sister admits to the crime falsely. Antigone refuses and admits to the crime. Creon with the power he has is eager to put Antigone to death for what he has done. Haemon asked Creon to let Antigone go and he does just that. Creon changes his mind and puts Polynices to death. Sophocles claims Creon was a tragic hero using Creon to affiliate in unlawful acts killing Polynices and causing others to commit suicide.

Sophocles informs that Creon is a character of fault. Haemon angrily storms out, vowing never to see Creon again. The blind prophet Tiresias warns Creon that the gods side with Antigone, and that Creon will loose a child for his crimes of leaving Polynices unburied and for punishing Antigone so harshly”(Antigone).Creon is vindictive to his son Haemon and Antigone. Creon changes his mind about putting Antigone to death. Creon listen to his son and agrees to bury his brother Polynices “Creon now blames himself for everything that has happened and he staggers away, a broken man. “The order and rule of law he values so much has been protected, but he has acted against the gods and has lost his child and his wife as a result”(Antigone). Sophocles ends the book with Creon in shock to express that a tragic hero is not a perfect character and makes regretful decisions.

Sophocles claims Creon is a tragic hero, how he changes dramatically in the book showing his true character . “He tells his people he will grow into a better role as the king of Thebes” (Antigone). Creon's change of heart comes too late to save anyone, but just in time to have “confrontation with his son”(Antigone).Creon’s flaw is his heart, he is a good person that just made bad choices. Creon suffers not only a loss of self-esteem, but a loss of identity itself, as he cries: “I don't even exist — I'm no one” (Antigone). Sophocles informs his audience by showing Creons characteristics of a tragic hero in the book of Antigone that he can overcome self doubt and become a confident king .

Work cited

  1. Aristotle,“The tragic hero”, Slide Player, Allan Norton, 2017,
  2. Bates Nickerson William,'The Satyr Plays',Sophocles I,edited by Don Nardo , The University of Chicago Press,1997,pp 79-84
  3. Bowra C.M.,'Use of Mythology”,Sophocles I, Edited by Don Nardo, The University of Chicago Press, 1997, pp 30 -47 Hamilton,Edith,The Greek Way,Norton,pp1964
  4. Hanson Victor and Heath John Heidegger Martin, ”The Ode on Man in Sophocles’ Antigone”, Sophocles I,edited by Don Nardo , The University of Chicago Press,1997, pp 86- 100
  5. Kitto,H.D.F. “The play has two central characters” Readings on Sophicles Antigone, Edited by Don Nardo, Green haven Press,1999,pp102-106
  6. Martin Luke,“Classical Literature” 2009,
  7. Murray D. Robert, ”Thought and Structure in Sophoclean Trajedy”, Sophocles I,edited by Don Nardo , The University of Chicago Press,1997,pp 23 -28
  8. Segal Paul Charles, ”Sophocles’ Praise of Man and the conflicts of the Antigone”, Sophocles I, edited by Don Nardo, The University Chicago Press, 1997,pp 62-85
  9. Sophocles’ Antigone Explores Western Cultural Ideals” ,Sophocles I, edited by Grene David and Lattimore Richmond, published by a The University of Chicago Press,1954, pp120-164
  10. Sophocles, “Antigone”,Shmoop,2019,
  11. Sophocles,“Creon as a tragic character in Antigone”, adamcap,published Mar 25, 2004,
  12. Sophocles, “The Oedipus Triology”,Cliffnotes, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016,
  13. Whitman H. Cedric, “Apocalypse: Oedipus at Colonus”, Sophocles I,edited by Don Nardo , The University of Chicago Press,1997, pp 146 -154
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Creon as The Tragic Hero in Aristotle’s Antigone. (2021, September 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from
“Creon as The Tragic Hero in Aristotle’s Antigone.” Edubirdie, 14 Sept. 2021,
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