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But he can play the clever drama, condemning her as a just King and then pardoning her as a merciful King, listening to the opinion of his people, who demand to release Antigone.Still, this isn’t a flaw of his personality, it is the complications connected with ruling a country and preserving his throne, so Creon doesn’t qualify as a tragic hero here.
The common people don’t see the responsibility that burdens him and don’t know that there is no pleasure for him in killing the wife of his son. His initial mistake – giving up to his rage and forbidding to bury Polyneices – turns into a much more serious issue that he can’t resolve without losing his reputation in one or another way.
He can’t spare Antigone on the spot, because she openly disobeyed him.
Moreover, he doesn’t want to kill her after rethinking the situation.
Still Antigone has more compassion even from the modern audience.
Hearing the refusal of Creon to bury Polyneices, she doesn’t resort to convincing and doesn’t remind him of traditions and mercy.
Instead she just disobeys her King, questioning his authority and showing that she can go against his will without any repercussions.
Creon doesn’t have the single fatal flaw that the true tragic hero must fall a victim of.
Though he looks like a hostage of his position – he can’t let Antigone go with what she has done, because it questions his political power and his position as a King.
She insists that human judgement can only take the body of a person, but their soul should have peace in the afterlife, so she demands the burial for Polyneices.
One of the most important traits for a tragic hero is a fatal flaw that destroys their life.