Aspects of a Tragic Hero To be a tragic hero, the character must show a great strength of heroism, including a vulnerability, that could lead to his or her demise. Sophocles, the great ancient playwright of the Greek Empire was as popular then as he is today. Antigone, one of his many plays, is still appreciated in modern day literature. Sophocles’ main characters Antigone and Creon are both similar and diverse in which they could qualify as tragic heroes. Antigone and Creon have very many similar traits that could qualify them both as tragic heroes.
Creon demonstrates excessive pride by declaring that “He would never have any dealings with an enemy of the people” (1. 26-27 Sophocles). Creon only wanted Antigone to be an enemy of the people to allow his pride to stand strong. Even though Creon had sent down the orders to lay Antigione‘s brother, Polyneices, “out for the birds”, Antigone is determined to go against Creon’s demands for what she feels is right, therefore becoming a battle of wills. In contrasting Antigone and Creon, Antigone’s actions could be viewed as hubris, but she was only doing what was right for the sake of someone else, and probably would have done it for anybody.
Where as Creon uses every moment to prove his power, instead of even considering what is right. This is proven true, even to the end when Creon wants to kill Antigone for her betrayal to him and his pride, while Antigone accepts it and decides to die with dignity. Unlike a samurai in Japan dying with dignity would not be submitting to their enemy, it would have been to take it into your own hands before the enemy had the pleasure (Strayer394). Antigone and Creon could qualify as tragic heroes because they were both equally Traylor2 engrossed in preserving their own pride.
In the play, the gods look down upon Creon in his actions he took toward the burials of Etocles and Polyneices. This was enough for the gods to create a dust storm, so the reader thinks, until the dust settles. They soon realize it was Antigone creating it to cover up her underhanded plans to give her brother a proper burial. As you can see, both Antigone and Creon will go to tragic lengths to fulfill their desires. Traylor3 Works Cited Sophocles. “Antigone. ” Holt McDougal Literature. Texas: Holt McDougal. 1068-1106. Print. Strayer, Robert W. Ways of the World: a Brief Global History. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s, 2009. Print.