The Tragic Hero

To answer the question of who is the tragic hero, you must define the two words. A hero is admired or idealized for courage, A tragedy in an event causing great suffering and destruction. I believe the person who fits these definitions best is Antigone. She is admired by the population of Thebes and idolized for upholding the gods’ rule.” Cities grieving for sons unburied(l.853)” She causes a great tragedy as she kills herself and causes Euripides and Haemon to do the same. Although what she did, I don’t think, was very heroic, the people of Thebes did, and in the end, she pleased them and death, but death took her anyway. That may have even been her plan or that of the gods. “And even if I die in the act, that death will be the glory.” & “I have longer to please the dead than the living. (l.86-89)” In the end, Creon was seen as horrible, and Antigone was the woman who defied the law of man to do what she thought was right. Creon did what he thought was correct as punishment for his unruly nephew who brought war to Thebes; whether his cause was just is a matter of perspective. Polyneices bringing the armies of other city-states to the door of Thebes was an unforgivable crime. That deserved punishment beyond life and into death. This deed was not heroic. It was not perceived as a heroic deed by the public. Yet he did it nonetheless. What he did was tragic, to cause great suffering to his nephew in death. The people saw a tragedy: a man who died in service to what he thought was right was punished for it after he had been proven wrong by the will of the gods and lost in battle. To that end, Antione is the closest match to a tragic hero, although Creon certainly suffered for his actions.