Unyielding. Powerful. Prideful. These words describe a ruler, who faces a tragedy unlike no other. In Antigen, a play written by Sophocles, the mall character Antigen faces difficult decisions that revolve around a foolish law created by her uncle, Croon. This law is the cause of the many hardships and tragedies Croon face. Although Croon makes this unjust law, he is still a hero. In the beginning of the play, Croon makes an unjust and unreasonable law.
The law makes it a crime to bury the body of Policies because he “attacked” the city of Thebes. The law is condemned by the citizens of Thebes and angers them. This unfair law also goes against the ancient laws of the gods. In that way he believes that he knows better than the gods; he is pushing boundaries that should not be pushed. Many times we see that Croon demands loyalty of his subjects, this is apparent when he states, “Unswerving submission to whomsoever the state has put in charge is what is asked: n little things as well as great in right and wrong” (221).
Croon believes that that everyone should remain loyal and faithful to him even if he Is wrong. He doesn’t care If his law Is unjust or not, he TLD create this law to protect the state but out of spite. Screen’s stubbornness blinds him from the fact that his law is wrong. Even though Croon has many flaws, he is still a hero. He says, “… I find intolerable the man who puts his country second to his He firmly believes that being the ruler of Thebes goes before anything else.
He is forever loyal to his state and wouldn’t make exceptions for family, showing that In some sense he Is indeed a fair and Just ruler. He realizes his own faults and tries correct them with, “Yes, I go at once. Servants. Servants-one the double! You there. Fetch the rest. Bring axes all and hurry to the hill. My mind’s made up. I’ll not be slow to let her loose myself who locked her in the tomb”(241). Though he is stubborn at first he realizes his flaws. He tries to change his impulsive decision, however is unfortunately too late.
Even though he lives up to his title of a hero and faces the consequences of his impulsive actions. Croon Is the very definition of a tragic hero, whose pride is his utter downfall. Croon Is faced with the realization that he Is at fault, “l know. You point the horns of my dilemma. It’s hard to eat my words, but harder soul to court catastrophe through overriding pride”(240). “You really mean it-that I must yield”(241). Croon finally realizes that his pride and reluctance to yield to his flaws was at the center of it all.
At he last few moments he realizes how foolish his law was and how stupid he was to sentence Antigen to death. However, he is to late to reverse his ignorance. He now has to live, knowing that three peoples deaths are because he couldn’t realize his Ignorant and stubborn ways sooner. “Son my son, cut down dead!… And by no youthful foolishness But by my “l killed her, I can own no alibi: the guilt is wholly mine. Take me quickly, servants, take me quickly hence. Let this nothing be forgotten”(251). Because of his destructive flaws, he forces tragedy to fall upon him.
Croon displays the image of a tragic hero’ because of his eroded ways. He learns too late of his flaws and pays the consequences, “Then lead me please away, a rash foolish man, a man of sorrows, who killed you, son, so blindly and you my wife-so death has leapt upon life”(252). To be a good leader, you need to know how to be firm but flexible. Croon is one but not the other and this contributes to his many mistakes. Croon tragically losses everything and because of that he is regarded as hero. A hero even though with many flaws is still a hero with positive qualities.