Antigone - the Use of the Classical Tragedy Concept of Hamartia

997 Words Jan 27th, 2006 4 Pages
In Sophocles ' Antigone, it is evident that the author incorporated the concepts used in classical tragedies in relation to the downfall of the heroine, Antigone. These factors being; hamartia, hubris, and fate clearly demonstrate how Antigone providing a proper burial for Polynices put her against Creon and her provocation against his power. Throughout the play there are various instances where Antigone displays such factors and ultimately they contribute, to a great extent, her demise.

The use of the classical tragedy concept of hamartia is largely demonstrated through the character of Antigone. In the play, Antigone 's brothers Polyneices and Eteocles begin a struggle for power against one another. Their father, Oedipus, was
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It was fate that at some point this curse would by some means affect Antigone. At the beginning of the play while talking with her sister, Antigone herself states both her motivation to bury her brother and her fate. "…whose disobeys in aught, his doom is death by stoning before all the folk. Thou knowest it now; and thou wilt soon show whether thou wilt soon show whether thou art nobly bred, or the base daughter of a noble-line." (Antigone, p.3). Antigone would rather follow the divine law and die than to live by Creon 's law and suffer internally knowing that she left her brother unburied. It was fate that Antigone would die if she buried her brother but she never once regretted it. To an extent fate played a significant role in her demise considering that she could not tamper with it since it was her destiny.

Through the use of hamartia, hubris, and fate, all devices of the tragic mode, Sophocles created an excellent play. The use of the devices proves that the three factors played a significant role in the downfall of the tragic heroine. He employed these devices through the use of the protagonist, Antigone which created an emotional and dramatic play for the audience. While reflecting on the play, one would question if it was it noble of Antigone to follow divine law, or if she should have obeyed Creon 's
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