In the end, once Antigone's death triggers his son Haemon's suicide, which in turn triggers his wife Eurydice's suicide, Creon is despondent, calling himself ''vain'' and ''silly.'' Although audiences may relate to both characters, the conflict between Antigone and Creon develops long before the play begins.
Creon has ascended to the throne because Antigone's father, the king before Creon, is deceased, and her brothers are essentially outlaws.
After all, Antigone sacrifices herself to fulfill her moral duty to her family and the gods, and Creon stubbornly rejects Antigone's religious convictions as a rationale for disobeying his orders. In this lesson, we will explore the conflict between these two characters and the extent to which each character upholds the classical definitions of protagonist and antagonist.
Aristotle's ancient text Poetics describes the six pillars of Greek tragedy.
A protagonist, or hero, is held in high esteem; his or her actions and words portray a person of high moral standard.
The antagonist, or villain, is portrayed in the opposite manner, usually motivated by immoral impulses such as greed, jealousy, or arrogance.
Antigone prefers a righteous death to a morally passive life.
Creon's motivations are a bit more complex than the average villain. He is pragmatic to a fault, and like Antigone, he is also a victim of extreme pride.
Antigone believes that the duty she has in honoring her brother Polynices’s death comes from the divine.
She believes that her actions are done in name of honor, family, but most of all, in recognizing...