Either Antigone or Creon is situated in the highest level of the socialhierarchy. Creon became the king of Thebes, after his two nephews killed eachother over the throne; Antigone (Creons niece), was an orphan who happened tobe Creons future daughter in law. Both presented moral values, differingexclusively on the situation they were applied. Creons actions towards thepeople reflected honesty and equal treatment upon the laws he made. Antigonesactions towards the burial of her brother (although he fought against hiscountry, she taught that he deserved to be buried), reflected fidelity andrespect upon the religious tradition and the gods laws. However, bothpresented hubris, which made either one wrong.
; Creon would not acceptanybodys disobedience against his laws, and Antigone, on the other hand,would not give up on her brothers burial. In this case, Creon is wrongbecause he does not have the right to choose the person that could be buried;his laws could not intervene the gods laws. Antigone is just as wrong asCreon. By disobeying the mens laws, she automatically disobeyed the godslaws as well. After a profound analysis of the tragedy, I strongly think thatAntigone is not able to be a tragic heroine. Although she encounters the highstatus of the social hierarchy, her hubris, her moral values and philosophy ofliving, she is not as adequate as Creon is in Aristotles profile.
Antigonepossesses all moral values to be, somewhat, a heroine (not a tragic one); she isan eminent example of someone who did what she thought it was right to do (Polyniecesburial), and while she was among danger, obstacles and people who were cowards(Chorus), she obeys the laws of the gods and is careless about the mortallaws penalty, her own death. She explains to her sister that her reward afterdeath would reflect on her nobility and values while she was alive. “So, do asyou Ismene like, whatever suits you best I will bury him myself. And even if Idie in the act, that death will be a glory” (Sophocles 1045). She also admitsthat her departure from the mortals world would help her escape her miserablelife (referring to her family loss). She is just too perfect to be a tragichero; she only does what is right, and her death is not seen as a tragedy andyet, a benefit.
What are left on my thoughts are the reasons that make Creonmore tragic than Antigone. Is it relevant to analyze which of the characterssuffered more to realize right from wrong? Which one basically lost almosteveryone in the family due to arrogance, stubbornness and pride? Creon is theonly one considered the tragic hero because he comes from the highest level ofthe social status; he is “neither perfect or ultimate evil”(http://www. md-1. com/ib/tragichero.
html), he is stubborn, and he also reflects apersonality full of pride. By being the king of Thebes, he is in a position ofgreat power, nobility, responsibility, and influence. He occupies some sense ofmorality and also states nobility by defending and protecting his city overeverything he encounters opposing his rules. He is very clear when he says”These are my principles. Never at my hands will the traitor be honored abovethe patriot” (Sophocles 1048). Creon is a very fair and excellent ruler; hepunishes the wrong and rewards the good.
“But whoever proves his loyalty tothe state Ill prize that man in death as well as life” (Sophocles 1048). Onthe other hand, the character is not perfect. His choice of punishment, refusingand demanding that nobody is allowed to bury Polynieces body does not achievehis moral values, and yet he dishonors the gods laws. These actions are howhubris and self-indulgence are manifested, and consequently what turns Creonimperfect (tragic flaw); he emphasizes his power and equates himself with thegods by stating that he can take lives .