Antigone The Tragic Hero Essay

978 words - 4 pages

A Tragic Hero

A tragic hero is a character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw, which combined with fate, results into a tragedy. The tragic hero must fall from good luck and well being to misery and misfortune. The tragic hero causes a sense of pity through the tragic downfall that weakens the character. In Antigone by Sophocles, Antigone follows her own beliefs by giving her brother a proper burial, even if she has to break the law of King Creon. Because of her innocent actions, Antigone is punished unjustly and unfairly. Through her risky and unselfish actions, ability to follow her own beliefs, and perseverance Antigone is the tragic hero of this play.

Furthermore, Antigone makes many important and appropriate decisions through her risky and unselfish actions. When she buries Polyneices, she does that so Polynieces will be able to live a satisfying after life and so that the gods will not be angered. Through her powerful decision making and strong will she says, “ I will bury the brother I love” (694). Antigone is an important follower of tradition and does not want to displease the gods or the dead. This means that Antigone will do anything possible to help her brother, even if it means being harmed innocently. In addition, Antigone commits more faultless actions that result in the death of her. When Antigone is caught by Creon she is immediately sentenced to death and cannot be saved. Before she is sent to be executed her sister, Antigone states, “ Save yourself, I shall not envy you, There are those who will praise you, I shall have honor too” (711). In this statement, Antigone is trying to prevent Ismene from getting involved in her situation and execution. Antigone doesn’t want her sister to be punished for something she never did. Through Antigone’s innocent, risky, and unselfish actions, she is faultlessly killed for no reason.

Moreover, Antigone’s ability to follow her own beliefs results into the heroicness and tragic death of Antigone. Antigone is from a royal family and has the power to do what she believes in. She believes in following traditions and exercises that power when she says, “I will bury him, and if I must die, I say that the crime is holy: I shall lie down With him in death, and I shall be as dear To him as he to me” (694). Antigone follows her beliefs in following tradition and by doing what she feels is best. Antigone does this because she knows she is doing the right thing and knows that she will be repaid in some way. Furthermore, Antigone justifies her actions by telling the reasons that motivated her to do it to King Creon. She refuses to give...

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