King Lear and Creon Are Tragic Heroes

Lear and Creon both fulfil the roles of the tragic hero in their plays. Discuss.
Essay exploring how effective King Lear and Creon are portrayed as tragic heroes.

In Aristotle's Poetics, - a collection of philosophical dissertations on literary and dramatic theory - Aristotle defines tragedy as "an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude". He also underlines certain characteristics through which a tragic hero must conform. Both King Lear and King Creon excellently adhere to Aristotle's conception of the tragic hero through their conduct, persona and status. However, it is worth considering that both plays were written almost four centuries apart ...

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both display hubris and an overwhelming inflexibility towards choices both considerate and arbitrary. These traits represent their hamartia - their error in judgment that will, according to Aristotle, wrongly generate their own decline but not due to sinful or moral weakness, but instead due to a lack of knowledge or understanding. Creon's obstinacy and refusal to change the law condemning the venial sin of burying Polyneices is primarily based on arrogance and an attempt to establish authority. Likewise, as a result of his hamartia - also one of hubris - King Lear rejects any advice given to him, namely by Kent, despite being aimed to assist Lear in perceiving his predicament in its truest sense:

"in thy best consideration, check
This hideous rashness: answer my life judgment,
Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least." (Kent I, I, 149-151)

Both of these incidents help bring upon the protagonists' nemesis - the sealing of their fate - wherein the ...

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King Lear and Creon Are Tragic Heroes. (2017, April 22). Retrieved June 19, 2018, from
"King Lear and Creon Are Tragic Heroes.", 22 Apr. 2017. Web. 19 Jun. 2018. <>
"King Lear and Creon Are Tragic Heroes." April 22, 2017. Accessed June 19, 2018.
"King Lear and Creon Are Tragic Heroes." April 22, 2017. Accessed June 19, 2018.
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Added: 4/22/2017 08:42:45 AM
Submitted By: mcampbell828
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1218
Pages: 5

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