Antigone: not the tragic hero

2077 WordsMar 17, 20149 Pages
Antigone: Not the Tragic Hero Sophocles, a great tragedian, was the one who gave Greek tragedies their traditional form. An important part of traditional Greek tragedies is the presence of a tragic hero. All tragic heroes should have the characteristics of rank, a tragic flaw, a downfall, and a recognition of mistakes. The seemingly tragic hero is Antigone. She wants to bury her brother Polyneices even though this would be going against Creon, who is her uncle and the king. When Antigone buries Polyneices Creon sentences her to death because of it. In Antigone by Sophocles the tragic hero is not Antigone because she only meets the characteristic of a tragic flaw, hers being pride, but doesn 't meet the other three characteristics of a…show more content…
She does not believe those beliefs are right and stubbornly ignores them. By acting this way she is demonstrating pride because a prideful person does not take into consideration anything going against them and their beliefs. Also when she says that "the laws of the gods mean nothing" to Ismene she is showing her pride. Firstly it again establishes the importance she puts to the gods laws. In this time period it was important to respect the gods. By suggesting Ismene does not respect the gods Antigone is entirely discarding Ismene. Antigone 's tragic flaw does not lead to her downfall, because of this Antigone does not meet the characteristic of reversal in fate otherwise known as a downfall. Creon’s pride is what causes Antigone 's death. For example when Teiresias tells Creon to let Antigone go and to give Polyneices a proper burial because the gods are upset he does not listen. Instead he says to Teiresias, "doddering fortune tellers...if your birds-if the great eagles of God himself- should carry him bit by bit to heaven, I would not yield"( 44- 47). Creon is insulting Teiresias, a respected prophet, and says that he wouldn 't do as Teiresias says even if the birds carried Polyneices body bit by bit to heaven. It is obvious that Creon is prideful because he has a high opinion of his superiority. This is shown when he refers to Teiresias, a highly respected prophet who has never been wrong, as

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