Who do you think the hero is in Antigone?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Antigone, the tragic hero is Creon.  By definition, a tragic hero is one who comes from noble birth, experiences hamartia, and has an epiphany regarding his/her actions.  Creon as a member of Oedipus' and Jocasta's family, is of noble birth, so he fits this criterion.  Creon is blinded by his own hubris and insecurity--as a new king, he feels that he needs to make the people of Thebes respect him, so he refuses to go back on his word regarding the burial of Polynices.  Even when Creon finds out from Haemon that the people of Thebes wish to see mercy given to Antigone, Creon refuses.  Further, Creon insults the respected Tieresias and does not heed his warning to reconsider the punishment.  After Creon banishes Antigone, he finally realizes that his pride has guided him in the wrong direction, and he tries to undo his actions.  But it is too late--Antigone and Haemon have committed suicide, as does Eurydice near the end of the play.  Creon understands that his actions have led to his downfall, making him the tragic hero of the play.

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Antigone

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