The debate over who is the tragic hero
in Antigone continue on to this day. The belief that Antigone is the hero
is a strong one. There are many critics who believe, however, that Creon,
the Ruler of Thebes, is the true protagonist. I have made my own judgments
also, based on what I have researched of this work by Sophocles.

Antigone is widely thought of as the tragic
hero of the play bearing her name. She would seem to fit the part in light
of the fact that she dies in doing what is right. She buries her brother
without worrying what might happen to her. She "Takes into consideration
death and the reality that may be beyond death" (Hathorn 59). Those who
do believe that Antigone was meant to be the true tragic hero argue against
others who believe that Creon deserves that honor. They say that the Gods
were against Creon, and that he did not truly love his country. "His patriotism
is to narrow and negative and his conception of justice is too exclusive...
to be dignified by the name of love for the state" (Hathorn 59). These
arguments, and many others, make many people believe the Antigone is the
rightful protagonist.

Many critics argue that Creon is the tragic
hero of Antigone. They say that his noble quality is his caring for Antigone
and Ismene when thier father was persecuted. Those who stand behind Creon
also argue that Antigone never had a true epiphany, a key element in being
a tragic hero. Creon, on the other hand, realized his mistake when Teiresias
made his prophecy. He is forced to live, knowing that three people are
dead because of his ignorance, which is a punishment worse than death.

My opinion on this debate is that Antigone
is the tragic hero. She tries to help her brother without worrying about
what will happen to her. She says, "I intend to give my brother burial.

I'll be glad to die in the attempt, -if it's a crime, then it's a crime
that God commands" (Sophocles 4). She was also punished for doing what
was right. Her epiphany came, hidden from the audience, before she hung
herself. Creon's "nobleness" of taking in young Antigone and Ismene is
overshadowed by his egotistical nature. He will not allow justice to come
about simply because he wants to protect his image. He says, "If she gets
away with this behavior, call me a woman and call her a man" (Sophocles

13). These elements prove that Antigone is the tragic hero.

Creon, understanding his ignorance may
lead one to believe that he is the true protagonist. But, if you define
the word protagonist you would find that a protagonist is one who is a
leader or supporter of a cause. Antigone is in support of her own actions
in the burial of her brother Polyneices. She entrusts that she is doing
what the Gods want, contrary to the belief of Creon. Many readers and critics
may say Creon suffered greator hardships. Some may say Antigone never had
an epiphany. Who would understand it if their own brother were left to
the birds and dogs. There would be no rational thinking involved in a act
like this. These are arguments envolved in deciding who is the tragic hero
of Antigone.

Critics, to this day, still argue about
who is the tragic hero of Antigone. Many say that Antigone is the heroin.

Others say that it is Creon. My research favors Antigone as the perfect
protagonist. No matter who the reader sides with, it is agreed by most
that there is a valid argument either way, in light of the fact that they
both endure great hardships.