Essay/Term paper: Antigone
Essay, term paper, research paper: Antigone
The debate over who is the tragic hero in Antigone
continue on to this day. The belief that Antigone is the hero
is a strong one. There are many critics who believe,
however, that Creon, the Ruler of Thebes, is the true
protagonist. I have made my own judgments also, based on
what I have researched of this work by Sophocles. Antigone
is widely thought of as the tragic hero of the play bearing her
name. She would seem to fit the part in light of the fact that
she dies in doing what is right. She buries her brother
without worrying what might happen to her. She "Takes into
consideration death and the reality that may be beyond
death" (Hathorn 59). Those who do believe that Antigone
was meant to be the true tragic hero argue against others
who believe that Creon deserves that honor. They say that
the Gods were against Creon, and that he did not truly love
his country. "His patriotism is to narrow and negative and his
conception of justice is too exclusive... to be dignified by the
name of love for the state" (Hathorn 59). These arguments,
and many others, make many people believe the Antigone is
the rightful protagonist. Many critics argue that Creon is the
tragic hero of Antigone. They say that his noble quality is his
caring for Antigone and Ismene when thier father was
persecuted. Those who stand behind Creon also argue that
Antigone never had a true epiphany, a key element in being
a tragic hero. Creon, on the other hand, realized his mistake
when Teiresias made his prophecy. He is forced to live,
knowing that three people are dead because of his
ignorance, which is a punishment worse than death. My
opinion on this debate is that Antigone is the tragic hero. She
tries to help her brother without worrying about what will
happen to her. She says, "I intend to give my brother burial.
I'll be glad to die in the attempt, -if it's a crime, then it's a
crime that God commands" (Sophocles 4). She was also
punished for doing what was right. Her epiphany came,
hidden from the audience, before she hung herself. Creon's
"nobleness" of taking in young Antigone and Ismene is
overshadowed by his egotistical nature. He will not allow
justice to come about simply because he wants to protect his
image. He says, "If she gets away with this behavior, call me
a woman and call her a man" (Sophocles 13). These
elements prove that Antigone is the tragic hero. Creon,
understanding his ignorance may lead one to believe that he
is the true protagonist. But, if you define the word
protagonist you would find that a protagonist is one who is a
leader or supporter of a cause. Antigone is in support of her
own actions in the burial of her brother Polyneices. She
entrusts that she is doing what the Gods want, contrary to
the belief of Creon. Many readers and critics may say Creon
suffered greator hardships. Some may say Antigone never
had an epiphany. Who would understand it if their own
brother were left to the birds and dogs. There would be no
rational thinking involved in a act like this. These are
arguments envolved in deciding who is the tragic hero of
Antigone. Critics, to this day, still argue about who is the
tragic hero of Antigone. Many say that Antigone is the
heroin. Others say that it is Creon. My research favors
Antigone as the perfect protagonist. No matter who the
reader sides with, it is agreed by most that there is a valid
argument either way, in light of the fact that they both endure
great hardships. Charles Woerner Dr. Walton English 12
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