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The Development Of Antigone As The Tragic Hero During The Play

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Throughout the play, Antigone, Antigone is acknowledged as the saint, or hero of this play. When comparing her character to Creon’s, it offers some fascinating conversation starters about the idea of what establishes a hero and a foe. This play shows very evident cause and effect of how one’s ego can change the entire direction of a story.

At the beginning of the play, Antigone’s siblings, Eteocles and Polyneices, have slaughtered each other in a duel. Lord Creon suggests that Polyneices is a ‘double crosser’ to his city, so he requests that nobody gives him the respect of a proper burial. He suggests that his dead body lay on the ground and be tormented by the city’s people. Antigone suggests that her sibling ought to have ”his respect among the dead men.” Despite of Creon’s request that states, any individual who has the audacity to stand up Polyneices, should be executed. Antigone is forced to stand up for her brother, as no one else would be willing to do so. All of this angers Antigone as she believes that her sibling must be respected in death, and in doing as such, she should ”please those that are dead,” as her time among the dead will not be any longer than her time among the living.

Antigone, be that as it may, is additionally tormented by a hamartia, or disastrous blemish. (This is an ordinary component among literary legends, as it displays expressions of sorrow or grief, which is a common theme in older plays). She is attacked by pride, and doesn’t yield to common sense, regardless of her sister Ismene’s refusal to help and Creon’s readiness to pardon her. Antigone is inclined to accept a rather honorable demise compared to an ethically distant life.

Hamartia is an act that leads to the fall of a very dominant character. Creon is portrayed as the leader in Sophocles’ Antigone. At first he has very good and respectable reasons for some of the laws and regulations he sets. But, overtime it is evident that his virtue toward the laws he sets in the city become all that he cares about, developing a very self-centered personality. Creon’s unfortunate imperfection, his arrogance, causes his defeat. Creon won’t tune in to anybody. He is so obstinate and his pride is so grand, that he could never force himself to recognize the fact that he would ever steer off-base of what his leadership position holds.

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At the point in the play when Creon is conversing with Teiresias, he reveals a lot about his character. At first, he doesn’t accept the fact that he could ever be wrong about his interpretation of Antigone. Creon says, ‘Whatever you state, you won’t change my will.’ Time and time again, Creon shows how big of an ego and overbearing personality his character has, always believing that he is better than all. ‘The State is King!’ says Creon, which demonstrates that he would go to the extent of believing that he is as superior as the divine beings. Creon has an excessive amount of pride, and the divine beings don’t care for that. The extent of Creon’s excessive arrogance causes his destruction and downfall in this play.

Creon is considered a “tragic” character. His experiences cause a negative effect on his personality, therefore leading to his hamartia. His hubris doesn’t adequately give him a chance to manage his issues. Teiresias’ prediction is the peripeteia and Creon discovers things won’t go the manner in which he arranged. The blind prophet informs Creon that he has indeed angered the Gods and this will lead to misfortune in his life. At last, Creon has his anagnorisis and truly begins to understand that his arrogance has brought his destruction. Creon is genuinely a sad character in Antigone.

Creon’s hamartia can be set right and he seems to do so towards the end of the play. After speaking with Teiresias, Creon at long last understands that his big ego has not let him adequately resolve his contentions. He has this revelation and states, ‘I have been imprudent and absurd.’ He consequently recognizes that he has allowed his pride to take over the decisions he makes, resulting in a turn for the worst. In addition, Creon finally accepts the fact that it was indeed his fault, that Haemon dies. Because, he would listen to his son and accept his advice, Creon acknowledges that every bad thing that has happened could have been avoided. Through a series of struggles found between Creon and his son, along with the people of his community and Antigone, he caused irreversible damage to his reputation. His power was too important to him, when the people around him were just trying to steer him in a better direction. Creon likewise says, ‘My very own visually impaired heart has carried me from murkiness to definite haziness.’ This shows his realization that with trying to go about the “problems” in his society, on his own terms, was not the appropriate solution. His heavy heart and loaded brain blinded him of what was right. At that point, he was already headed in a misguided direction and it finally hit him, it was too much for him to handle. Creon’s self confidence did not let him viably manage his contentions.

Although being confident can be a very praiseful trait, there becomes a clear distinction between confidence and being too assertive. In Sophocles’ Antigone, Creon’s true personality is revealed by the selfless acts of Antigone. She helps recognize the many unfortunate characteristics of Creon, causing his hamartia to become disclosed by the end of the play.

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The Development Of Antigone As The Tragic Hero During The Play. (2021, September 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 9, 2023, from
“The Development Of Antigone As The Tragic Hero During The Play.” Edubirdie, 14 Sept. 2021,
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