Consequences of Pride: Creon as the Tragic Hero of Sophocles’ Antigone

While it is likely that Oedipus Rex is the only character who completely embodies Aristotle’s idea of a tragic hero, there are many characters who possess enough of his defined characteristics to qualify as the tragic hero of their respective drama. Creon, the King of Thebes in Sophocles’ Antigone, is one such character. A noble … Read moreConsequences of Pride: Creon as the Tragic Hero of Sophocles’ Antigone

Bend or Break: Oikos, Polis, and Love in Haemon’s Argument with Creon

Sophocles’ play Antigone centers around a conflict between oikos and polis. Oikos, “home,” is the concept of the household, dominated by women and kinship; polis, “city,” is the concept of the collective city-state, dominated by men and power or money. Antigone, bound by the family duty of proper burial, comes into deep conflict with the … Read moreBend or Break: Oikos, Polis, and Love in Haemon’s Argument with Creon

Hubris in Antigone and Oedipus

The idea of hubris is monumental in a plethora of Greek mythological works. In many ways the excessive pride of certain characters fuels their own destruction. This is certainly true with respect to the characters of Pentheus, Antigone, and Oedipus. All three of these characters demonstrate, through their actions, various degrees of arrogance that seem … Read moreHubris in Antigone and Oedipus

The Non-Sacred Monster: Antigone as a Self-Determined Tragic Hero

One of the key thematic threads running through the plays of The Oedipus Cycle is the debate regarding the primary importance between the laws of the gods over those of the State. For example, in both Oedipus Rex and Antigone, the eponymous characters are torn between serving the Theban body politique and heeding the moral … Read moreThe Non-Sacred Monster: Antigone as a Self-Determined Tragic Hero

Creon and the Alliance of Spears in Antigone

In Sophocles’ Antigone, Creon makes reference to an “alliance of spears” as a metaphor pertaining to the necessary allegiance a society has to its ruler. Initially he feels his authority must be proven as absolute and in an act of hubris he attempts to prohibit the appropriate burial of an enemy. In so doing Creon … Read moreCreon and the Alliance of Spears in Antigone

Sophocles’ Themes in Antigone and Oedipus Rex

Sophocles used his plays to encourage Athenians to take responsibility for their own actions. In the fifth century B.C., Greece was experiencing an era of military exploration, political turmoil and social revolution, including women’s empowerment. Sophocles included all of these elements in plays, especially in Oedipus Rex and Antigone. Despite his upper class upbringing, Sophocles … Read moreSophocles’ Themes in Antigone and Oedipus Rex