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Tragic Heriones Throught Literature Essay

1239 words - 5 pages

Woman heroines are not often seen, however they have been around since the Greeks with Antigone, and they still exist today with characters such as Jane Eyre. The characteristics of a tragic heroine have changed over the years. Characteristics such as noble birth to more of a commoner and from dying to just having an internal struggle. In plays and books tragic heroines are portrayed differently, allowing the reader to connect and interpret differently.
One of the most famous tragic heroines from Greek times is Antigone from the play “Antigone”. This play was written by Sophocles, who was a famous Greek writer of his time. The play was written The setting for the play is a city-state ...view middle of the document...

She is not as easy related to as modern day heroes, because most of society today lives the life of middle class. I think also because Antigone is of noble birth, it is makes more of an importance when she defies the king.
From the very beginning she is defying the law of King Creon. When she is discussing the new law about her brother Polyneces and how the king has authorized no one to bury or mourn his death. If they do punishment shall be brought upon them. However this does not stop Antigone and in the beginning of the play she tells her sister of her plans to bury her brother (lines 15-35). This is because of her flaw which is excessive pride. She would rather do what the gods say than her own uncle, who is king of Thebes. This is her reasoning for burying her brother, Antigone elevates religious law over state law. During this time defying the law was one thing, but to defy them as a woman takes it to a whole new level. This is why Antigone is counted as a tragic heroine, because she faces adversity and stands true to her beliefs.
She is caught burying her brother and taken to the king. When Creon questions Antigone she denies nothing and stands her ground about burying her brother. She knows she must be punished for her actions so she accepts her fate to die. She is locked up and by the time that the king is persuaded to let Antigone go free it is too late. Creon find Antigone, Eurydice and Haimon all dead, so now he must come to terms that he is alone due to his decisions.
Every tragic heroine has a flaw that will bring them to their demise and this is hers. From the very beginning of the play after we find out that Antigone is going to go against her uncle and bury her brother, it is letting the reader know that most likely she will end up getting punished. This is a technique in drama and literature called foreshadowing. Even Ismene, Antigone's sister sees her sisters flaw and say this to her “ Go then, if you feel that you must. You are unwise, But loyal friend to those indeed you love” (82-84). This again is showing that the people around Antigone, notice that she is a flawed character. Even if Antigone does not see them herself.
Since the greeks many things have changed, including the characteristics of a hero/heroine in a play or story. One great example of this is Jane Eyre, from the book Jane Eyre written by Charlotte Bronte. The...

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