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Discussion Of The Tragic Hero In Sophocles Antigone

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The origin of the Sophocles’ Greek tragedy “Antigone” has created much controversy about the definition of a tragic hero, as defined by Aristotle. A literary character that makes a judgment error that leads to his/her own downfall. Both Creon and Antigone challenge each other’s conception of the divine and civic law while each has lawfulness in their argument. It is evidently noted that Antigone is the hero of the tragedy; she was a romantic idealist whose beliefs on family loyalty and religious values could not be condemned by civil laws. A hero can be defined by, Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, as a character that exhibits courage and sacrifice for the greater good. Antigone can distinctly be identified as the hero in the story because…show more content…
summarizes a romantic idealist as an “other-orientated”, person who “lives in the future or past and worries about future consequences or effects of past events.” In the first fifty lines Antigone publicizes her complete disregard of Creon’s order to leave her brother’s body untouched. It becomes apparent (Line 58) that the betrayal of her uncle was only because of her worry. As a romantic idealist, “past events lead to future consequences.” By “the laws of god” (Line 58) Polyneices body had to be buried. Antigone, the “others-orientated” women she was believed her brother deserved an honorable funeral just as her other brother where people could mourn (Line 15-18). According to her idea of a perfect world, without flaws strengthens Antigone’s judgment and solidifies her beliefs. This can be seen in line 55 “I will bury him and if I must die, I say that this crime is holy” and continues on line 59 with “it is the dead not the living who make the longest demand: we die for ever…”…show more content…
Elizabeth Bobrick’s Sophocles’ Antigone and the Self-Isolation of the Tragic Hero declares “the heroic code may be summarized as follows: I protect my philoi—a term that includes family, kin, loved ones, and loyal community members—and they honor me. To hate my friend is to hate me. To help my enemy is to harm me. Being dishonored by my philoi is the equivalent of death. I will either kill them, or myself, or both.” This can explain Antigone’s excessive desire to bury her brother and even further be supported in lines 25-28 when Antigone challenges her sister’s loyalty. Aristotle himself said that a tragic hero should be neither better nor worse normally than a normal person. With that being said Antigone’s sister, Ismene, was in the same position as her. Originally invoking a sense of naturalism this changes with Ismene’s refusal to help bury their brother. The lack of support for Antigone’s plan leaves her no choice, but distances herself from her sister who obviously doesn’t share the same family loyalty beliefs as her (Lines 77-81). Ismene later in the play tries to claim some guilt in order to help Antigone’s cause. Yet again, Antigone refused to allow her sister to assume any punishment for her crime. Sophocles, Peter Meineck, Paul Woodruff’s Theban plays acknowledges Antigone would rather be dead with her brother than alive with a husband (Line 55-58). This is
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