The Tragic Heroes In Sophocles’ Tragedy, Antigone

825 words - 3 pages

Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero is someone of great importance or royalty. The hero must go through something terrible such as a relative’s death. We must feel what this character is feeling throughout the story. Aristotle also said that a tragic hero scan be defeated by a tragic flaw, such as hubris or human pride. In Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone, both Creon and Antigone are tragic heroes.
In the play, Creon and Antigone can be seen as good or bad characters. Both of them show traits of justice. Antigone wanted to save her brother, Polyneices, by giving him a soldier’s funeral with military honors. Creon realized his mistake of putting Antigone in a cave to die for burying Polyneices, and he tried to fix it. Unfortunately, he was a little too late. Antigone and Creon also showed immoral acts. Antigone went against Creon’s law even if it was unfair. Creon made the morally wrong law of not letting anyone bury Polyneice’s body.
Creon and Antigone both had tragic flaws. Antigone disobeyed the law by trying to bury Polyneices so Creon enforced his punishment on Antigone. Antigone decides she was going to go against Creon’s word when she told Ismene,
Listen, Ismene: Creon buried our brother Eteocles with military honors, gave him a soldiers funeral, and it was right that he should; but Polyneices, who fought just as bravely and died as miserably. They say that Creon has sworn no one shall bury him, no one mourn for him, but his body must lie in the fields, a sweet treasure for carrion birds to find as they search for food. That is what they say, and our good Creon is coming here to announce it publicly; and the penalty, stoning to death in the public square! There it is, and now you can prove what you are: a true sister, or a traitor to your family.
(Sc. Pro, lns. 14-27)
Creon’s arrogant self-pride was his tragic flaw, because it led to him using his power to a point that caused his loved-ones to die. Creon shows his self pride obviously when he said, “But whoever shows by word and deed that he is on the side of the State, he shall have my respect while he is living, and my reverence when he is dead” (Sc. 1, lns. 52-55). Antigones’s tragic flaw can be seen as an act of justice to some and just breaking the law to others.
Both characters at some...

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