Creon is often mentioned as the catastrophic hero in Antigone, the third of the Theban plays. Is that possible, though, that an Antigone disastrous hero essay can take an additional tack? Is it possible there is much more than one tragic hero that Antigone?


A catastrophic hero is most commonly a character who, despite their great intentions, is doomed come fail, experiencing or defeat. Ordinarily, the hero’s very own hubris or other character flaw is the reason of their downfall. The most standard tragic hero that all, the course, is Oedipus himself. Doomed from even prior to his birth by a prophecy, Oedipus does every he deserve to to protect against his fate. His very own pride and lack of expertise work against him, and in the end, he fulfills the tragic prophecy.

His storyline ends, and also that that his kids picks up in Antigone. Tragic hero story ordinarily contain a character who drops to their very own hubris.

How is Antigone a tragic hero?

Her heroism’s tragedy is a bit an ext subtle 보다 that the Creon’s since her “fatal flaw” is a hopeful trait quite than a an unfavorable one. She flaw is no pride no one hubris, yet rather a fierce dedication and also love of her family.

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How Is Antigone a Hero?

The an initial criteria for being a “tragic hero” is, the course, for a personality to be a hero. A hero is well-known for inexplicable “courage, impressive achievements, or noble qualities.” Antigone fulfills all 3 criteria. She mirrors a good deal of ship both in Oedipus at Colonus, when she steadfastly accompanies she father, and also in Antigone. She courage becomes clear from the play’s opened lines, when she vows to her sister Ismene that she will certainly bury their brother, v or without Creon’s approval. Her loyalty to her family members is more powerful than her fear of the penalty promised through the king. 

Her outstanding accomplishment includes going, in the night, and also defying the assignment of she uncle, Creon, to bury her brother Polyneices. To execute this, she must slip past the guards and also do complicated and hefty work an extremely quickly and likely in the dark, together secretively as possible.

Her noble personality is express in her unwavering loyalty to she family. Her character is subtly emphasized at the beginning of the play when she meets Ismene to notify her of she plans. Ismene, fearing Creon’s wrath, refuses to join her sisters or help her. Antigone announces the she will go through or without Ismene’s help. Ismene begs her not to carry out such a foolish and also reckless act, yet Antigone is determined and also leaves the palace while she sister return to her very own rooms, as well afraid of the consequences to stand as much as Creon’s stubbornness.

The Tragedy that Antigone

The “tragic” part is a bit much more complicated. Ordinarily, a disastrous hero is doomed by some flaw in their own character. Oedipus was doomed through his absence of knowledge- not understanding he was adopted. He to be the victim that two an unfavorable traits: ignorance and hubris. His attempts to circumvent the prophecy and also the will of the gods space borne that his belief that he can outrun the prediction. Oedipus, top top hearing the prophecy that he will certainly murder his father and also marry his mother, flees. And by fleeing native his home in Corinth to try to escape the prophecy, that unknowingly puts self in the place of fulfilling it. 

Antigone go not endure hubris, nor is she ignorant of her situation. She understands her uncle’s decree and also the danger of defying it, yet she chooses to danger Creon’s fury in favor of her commitment to she family. Antigone recognizes Creon’s stubbornness and also insists ~ above going versus his unjust decree to ask her dead brother, a noble gesture. When it might be said that Antigone’s proud is what cd driver her, it is daunting to deny the vessel of her sacrifice.

Why is Antigone the disastrous Hero?

The play Antigone is unusual due to the fact that it includes two catastrophic heros. The an ext obvious one is Creon, whose stubborn pride expenses him almost everything. Having currently lost his two nephews come war, he loses his niece and his very own son. The disastrous losses the Antigone and also Creon’s son can have to be avoided. But why is Antigone a disastrous hero? In big part, the reason of her martyrdom is Creon’s pride. 


The uncle and his niece space both strong-willed characters. Antigone shows unusual courage because that a mrs in Greek mythology. While many women are portrayed as wives, daughters, or mothers, Antigone has lost a father, and also her husband plays a reasonably minor component in the conflict. Her commitment to her brother and also her insistence on providing him appropriate burial rights contrast sharply with other characters’ behaviors.

Her very own mother, Jocasta, as soon as tried to have actually her son, Oedipus, murdered together an child to stop the catastrophic prophecy. Because of Jocasta’s absence of will and strength to bring out the deed herself, Oedipus lived. That is fate why Antigone and her siblings that Jocasta failed. They would not have existed if Oedipus had died as an infant. The siblings’ really existence to be cursed by the partnership Oedipus entered with his own organic mother, who also became his children’s mother.

Ismene’s personality is an ext typical the a mrs in Greek mythology. Indecisive and also aware of her “place” in the palace hierarchy, Ismene refuses to go against authority. She begs Antigone come think of her, understanding she will be left alone if Antigone’s deed is discovered. She is terrified because that Antigone, however not solid enough to join her in her defiance. It is not till after the deed is carried out the Ismene tries to join Antigone in she punishment, so that she won’t need to live without she sister. 

Ismene is weak and also indecisive, yet her sister has a stamin of character. Antigone’s loyalty and steadfastness gave her the stamin to execute what she felt to be right. She stood against Creon’s decree to walk to the battlefield and give Polyneices a suitable burial. She has already lost her father and both brothers, and also she refuses to see her brother’s body desecrated.

Women in Greek mythology faced very different difficulties from their masculine counterparts. Oedipus’ battle with authority was much more open. He dealt with Laius, and unknowingly eliminated his very own father. Later on he challenged the Sphinx terrorizing the area, and also defeated that as well. 

Antigone acted in defiance of authority, standing up versus her uncle’s unjust orders. Her fight to be much more passive 보다 Oedipus’ had been, but it to be equally difficult. Defying the king meant certain death. Antigone went into her battle completely aware of the aftermath of her actions. She considered her very own life a reasonable price to pay for she dead brother’s dignity and also her commitment to she sibling’s memory.

Antigone pays the Price

When Creon learn of she disobedience, he confronts her, yet she refuses to earlier down, recall him the the an extremely law of nature and also the gods space on she side. Creon, furious at gift defied through a woman, insists that he would certainly rather have actually her executed than spare her as his boy future wife. Haemon, Creon’s son, is predictably upset at his father’s stubborn refusal to pardon his cousin/wife. Even with Ismene pleading for she sister’s life, Creon refuses to spare her.

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Finally, that is encouraged to seal her into a tomb quite than have actually her straight executed. The declares that since she wished her brothers buried, she will have her wish, however she will join him, sealed for eternity in a tomb. 

Once more, Ismene’s lack of strength is provided as a subtle comparison to emphasize Antigone’s courage. Ismene begs come be permitted to join her sister in death, yet Antigone refuses, saying she life “is enough.” Ismene, distraught, leaves the room and is not heard indigenous again in the play. She was unable to join her sisters in committing the crime of defying Creon. Antigone will certainly not allow her either the horror or the respect of joining her in death for a crime she did no commit. 

It is not till the remote prophet, Tiresias, comes and also informs Creon the he has brought the wrath that the gods upon Thebes with his stubborn refuse to fulfill the organic law and bury Polyneices that he relents. He goes to the tomb through Haemon to release Antigone, yet they discover that she has hung herself in despair upon come upon come upon arrival.

Antigone’s last act of defiance was to join her father and brothers in death. At this moment, she i do not care a truly tragic hero. Pride and fear drove she to hang herself just prior to she would have actually been rescued and released from she fate. Haemon, furious and grieving, swings his knife to kill his very own father in revenge because that his bride. The misses and also stabs himself. The dies v Antigone, and also Creon is left with just the weaker of the sisters.