In Sophocles’ Greek tragedy, Antigone, two characters undergo character changes. During the play the audience sees these two characters’ attitudes change from close-minded to open-minded. It is their close-minded, stubborn attitudes, which lead to their decline in the play, and ultimately to a series of deaths. In the beginning Antigone is a close minded character who later becomes open minded. After the death of her brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, Creon becomes the ruler of Thebes. He decides that Eteocles will receive a funeral with military honors because he fought for his country. However, Polyneices, who broke his exile to ” spill the blood of his father and sell his own people into slavery”, will have no burial. Antigone disagrees with Creon’s unjust actions and says, ” Creon is not strong enough to stand in my way.” She vows to bury her brother so that his soul may gain the peace of the underworld. Antigone is torn between the law placed against burying her brother and her own thoughts of doing what she feels should be done for her family. Her intent is simply to give her brother, Polyneices, a proper burial so that she will follow “the laws of the gods.” Antigone knows that she is in danger of being killed for her actions and she says, “I say that this crime is holy: I shall lie down with him in death, and I shall be as dear to him as he to me.” Her own laws, or morals, drive her to break Creon’s law placed against Polyneices burial. Even after she realizes that she will have to bury Polyneices without the help of her sister, Ismene, she says: Go away, Ismene: I shall be hating you soon, and the dead will too, For your words are hateful. Leave me my foolish plan: I am not afraid of the danger; if it means death, It will not be the worst of deaths-death without honor. Here Ismene is trying to reason with Antigone by saying that she cannot disobey the law because of the consequences. Antigone is close-minded when she immediately tells her to go away and refuses to listen to her. Later in the play, Antigone is sorrowful for her actions and the consequences yet she is not regretful for her crime. She says her crime is just, yet she does regret being forced to commit it.
Creon is the Tragic Hero in Sophocles’ Antigone
Antigone Essays: Creon is the True Tragic Hero
Antigone, which was written by Sophocles, is possibly the first written play that still exists today (www.imagi… 1). There is much controversy between who the ‘tragic hero’ is in the play. Some people say Antigone, some say Creon, others even say Heamon. I believe Creon displays all of the characteristics of a ‘tragic hero’. He receives compassion through the audience, yet recognizes his weaknesses, and his downfalls from his own self-pride, stubbornness, and controlling demands. He is the true protagonist.
Though the audience notices how villainous Creon is, they still express sympathy towards him. They realize that he has brought all of his problems on himself and should have been more open-minded, but think no one should have to go through what he has. They understand how the warrior king Creon felt when he notices his son is love struck. The audience also expresses pity towards him because Antigone is a murderer and understands why he is upset.
Creon’s noble quality is his caring for Antigone and Ismene when their father was persecuted. Creon is a very authoritative person and demands control of others. When talking to the Chorus, Creon does not ask them to agree with the decree but demands that they follow it. Creon expects loyalty from others. It is apparent that Creon is very dominating and wants to be in control. “The man the city sets up in authority must be obeyed in small things and in just but also in their opposites”(717-719). Through this quote the reader realizes that Creon wants obedience in everything he decides even if he is at fault. “There is nothing worse than disobedience to authority” (723-724). Further supporting Creon’s belief that everyone shall remain faithful to him even if he rules unfairly. This is proved true when Creon says, “Should the city tell me how I am to rule them?” (790).
Creon has forgotten that the ruler is supposed to do what is best for the city and its citizens. Creon is under the impression that he is always correct in his judgments and his beliefs. Before the sentry even explains the event that has occurred, the sentry states that he is only a messenger and has not committed the crime. Yet Creon still accuses the sentry of receiving money to do the crime and threatens to punish him.