The Tragic Hero Of Antigone Essay

894 words - 4 pages

Everyone agrees that Oedipus is the quintessential Greek tragic hero. In fact, Aristotle had Oedipus specifically in mind when he first set down the requirements for tragedy in his Poetics. However, in other Greek tragedies, the tragic hero isn’t always so easy to identify. For example, in the play Antigone, the reader may have some difficulty deciding who the tragic hero is. Nevertheless, a careful examination of the facts reveals that Antigone is the true tragic heroine because she’s brave, flawed, and noble.

Antigone is a tragic hero because she is brave. One instance where Antigone shows bravery is when she is talking to Antigone about attempting to give her brother, Polynices, a proper burial, “When I have tried and failed, I shall have failed,”(129). This quote demonstrates that Antigone is brave because she is determined to at least try to give Polynices, a proper burial. She can’t fail unless she tries. A second example where Antigone demonstrates bravery is also when she is talking to Ismene about burying Polynices, “There is no punishment / Can rob me of my honourable death,” (129). This quote displays Antigone’s bravery because she knows that she will probably get caught giving her brother a proper burial. She also knows that if she is discovered, she will be sentenced to death. A third example that shows Antigone is brave is when Antigone has already been caught, and is being questioned by Creon, “I knew that I should have to die, of course. With or without your order,” (138). This quote exhibits Antigone’s bravery because she understands the fact that she is going to die from getting caught giving Polynices a proper burial. She’s going to die sometime, so she thought that she should feel that she should make life worth living. Antigone’s bravery shows that Antigone is a tragic hero, and so does possessing a fatal flaw.

Antigone proves that she is a tragic hero because she is flawed in the fact that she has too much pride. One moment that displays that Antigone possesses too much pride, is when Ismene reminds her about the severe punishments that could result from giving Polynices a proper burial, “He has no right to keep me from my own”(128). This quote shows that Antigone is willing to disobey the king, Creon in order to please herself by giving Polynices a proper burial. Consisting of too much pride is eventually the cause of her death. A second instant where Antigone is shown to have an exceeding amount of pride is when she is determined to give Polynices a proper burial is when Ismene has been consistently...

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