The Origin Of The Sophocles ' Greek Tragedy

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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 she was a romantic idealist. Pamelah Landers’ book Relationship Success for Singles: Life Partner or Life Problems? 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... ... middle of paper ... ... divine law over the king’s decree. The unwritten laws of the gods were established long before Creon’s newly set law to leave Polyneices body untouched. To not bury his body meant shame and would leave him unable to rest in his assigned place. This also meant shame brought to the family for leaving this family and religious obligation unfulfilled. Polyneices body belonged to the gods and thus were ruled by them (Line 435). Antigone worshiped the god of the underworld, Hades, who believed the dead were entitled to their domain. By saying “I have not sinned before God. Or if I have, I shall know the truth in death”, shows she truly believes she has done no wrong in the eyes of the gods. 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.
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