eginning to end.
One is the protagonist, the other is the antagonist. The protagonistnormally considered the “good guy” and the antagonist is the “bad guy”. In
“Antigone” it is hard to see which is which. In most stories, such as
Cinderella, the name of the play or story is the protagonist, but in
“Antigone”, the supposed antagonist Creon, the King of Thebes, could also
be considered a protagonist.
According to the definition of protagonist, Antigone would definetly
seem to be the protagonist. Her actions form the plot of the play. She
decides to bury her dead brother, against Creon’s edict. After the
soldiers of Thebes unbury him, Antigone goes and buries him again. When
she is caught, she is taken to Creon and he sentences her to death. Then,
to get at Creon even more, she commits suicide while on death row. She is
very stubborn and stands up for her beliefs, which is very admirable.
Creon is a very strict character. His actions can only follow those
of Antigone’s, so he can’t be a traditional protagonist. However, the way
his actions flow they also make Creon fit as the protagonist in “Antigone”.
After Antigone is captured, the play focuses on Creon. He boasts about
his decisions to the chorus. He argues with Tiresias about his leadership
abilities and Tiresias forces him to realize he was in the wrong.
Not only does Creon have too much pride, but he is stubborn like
Antigone. He doesn’t want to admit he is wrong, so he makes the same
mistakes over again. He could have pardoned Antigone or reversed his edict
after is point was made, but he did not. Maybe he does not believe it
could be possible for a King to make such mistakes, or maybe he has just
been King so long that he has developed a large ego and is unaware of his
own mortality. Either way, his pride and stubbornness reflect in almost
every action Creon makes throughout the play.
Creon overgoes a full change in the play, unlike Antigone. At the
beginning, Creon does not want Polyneices buried, even though it is against
the law of the gods that all bodies must have a proper burial for the soul
to enter the underworld. After speaking with Tiresias that this within
itself was a mistake, and her sentence to Antigone was also wrong.The
realization of this conflicts with Creon’s stubbornness and pride, but he
overcomes his flaws by admitting his mistakes and trying to correct them.
Unfortunately, Antigone’s plan to hinder Creon work all too well, and even
his good intentions fail to produce the wanted result. In addition,
Creon’s wife and son commit suicide. His realization is now complete, and
now he has loss to accompany it.
Antigone, on the other hand, never fully realizes her mistakes. She
is stubborn and to some extent proud, but does not renounce these glitches.
One reason may be that they really are not flaws in this play. Her
stubbornness leads to her capture and her death, but if her death is what
brought Creon to the self-realization, then it is a key element in the
plot. This perspective puts Antigone in the spot of antagonist; as
aggravator of Creon the protagonist.
To conclude, Creon is the protagonist. The debate will still
continue as to who is the protagonist in this play. Some could agrue that
both are protagonists. Some may argue that neither is the protagonist.
Some may argue that Antigone is the protagonist.