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Antigone a tragic hero

Antigone: A Tragic Hero

Heroes come in many forms. Some such as immense in size and strength as

Hercules, some in the form of people that are shunned upon, such as Harriet

Tubman, and some that are only valorous heroes to some, such as Kurt Cobain.

These heroes have many characteristics that make people flock to their side and

follow them without a thought of hesitation. In Sophocles' Antigone the hero

is a women that believes in her heart far stronger than that of her leader's

rule. This brings up many characteristics that are shown within her that are

also seen in other heroes. One being that she is up against an impossible enemy,

one who does not fit well into society's mold, and is destroyed by her own pride.

For these characteristics Antigone is given the title of an epic Heroin.

Antigone is one of the lucky townsfolk to be born of a royal house, yet is

unlucky to be born in the House that she is born into. As Antigone defies

Creon's law, she is cast into a pool of danger between what she believes is

right and what the state's law decrees is right. As Antigone is charged with

the burying of her brother, an action which the King has declared unlawful, she

holds like stone to her undying gratitude for her deceased brother. She holds

to this thought because of the fact that she believes that her, who died

fighting against the state, must be interred with the same honor as her brother

who died defending the state. She believes that this will help lift the curse

plagued on the household. The curse in which there father tried to hold at bay

and failed. Her sister Ismene warned Antigone by exclaiming "Sister please,

please! remember how our father die: hated, in disgrace, wrapped in horror of

himself, his own hand stabbing out his sight. And how his mother-wife in one,

twisted off her earthly days with a cord. And thirdly how our two brothers in

a single day each achieved for each a suicidal Nemesis" (166). This has

already gave Antigone the mind set that even the Gods are against her will. She

is also up against a great foe in fighting that of Creon's edict. Ismene has

said this: "The rest, if we defy our sovereign's edict and his power. Remind

ourselves that we are women, and such not made to fight with men. For might

unfortunately is right and makes us bow to things like this and worse" (167).

So as one would believe Antigone sees herself as not only on who can defy the

power of the Gods but the power of the state. Thus she would be up against an

force greater than her own. Second, another characteristics of a tragic hero is

that the person does not always fit into society's mold. The tragic hero is

usually one who wants change, yet also needs the peace that goes along with

stability. The fact that the tragic hero also usually thinks that they are in

there right mind when yet the rest of the society thinks that they are mad.

Antigone has said "Say that I am mad, and madly let me risk the worst that I can

suffer and the best" (168). this shows that although Antigone thinks she is

doing is right, she also does not care how the other members of society deem

her for her action. Antigone also must believe that she must be different from

not only society but members of her family. Creon notes on this when he is

asking her about his proclamation "O, she's the man, not I, if she can walk away

unscathed! I swear I hardly care if she be my sister's child, or linked to me

by blood more closely than any member of my hearth and home (181). This should

also show one that Creon does not care about her nobility and that he will treat

her just like one any other member of society. Lastly, Antigone is inherently

destroyed by the one thing that is her tragic flaw: excessive pride. This was

also a downfall of her father Oedipus. This pride could also be confused with

honor. Antigone not only defies Creon's edict but also makes a mockery of it

when he asks her about it. When asked if she knows the edict her exclamation is

"Of course I knew. Was it not publicly proclaimed?" (179). This line clearly

shows that Antigone has knows that she broke the edict and also is not shamed to

admit it to the creator of the edict himself. She almost revels in telling

Creon about it. Antigone also shows that she choose what to do not based on the

law of the state but on the laws of the Gods. Antigone also embellishes her

statement by telling Creon that he is a fool to judge her on what she has done.

"I feel no twinges of regret. And if you think I am a fool, perhaps it is

because a fool is judge" (180). If anything this clearly states that she has

excessive pride for what she has done and will make sure that Creon knows this

and her unfeigned gratitude for her dead brothers. As one can tell the role of a

tragic hero is one that Antigone plays well. Although she dies at the end of

this play, Antigone feels no regret in what she has done. She also shows that

she is proud of the fact that she never denied burying her brother. One would

infer that although of her death, Antigone died for what she believed. This is

the utmost characteristic in the portrait of a tragic hero.



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