Essay on The Tragic Hero Of Antigone By Jean Anouilh

Essay on The Tragic Hero Of Antigone By Jean Anouilh

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In Kierkegaard’s existentialism, there is personal, aesthetic, duty, ethical duty, and religious duty to god. Within this existentialism, two important categories of people emerge, the knight of faith and the tragic hero. The knight of faith will relinquish his ethical duty for his religious duty, a course of action that demands blind faith. The tragic hero will surrender his personal duty for his ethical duty, an undertaking that we can all truly understand. Antigone, by Jean Anouilh, is a tragedy in which each of the main characters, Antigone and Creon, take actions similar to those of a knight of faith or tragic hero. Antigone is a member of the royal family, who ends being sentenced to death because she believes that her brother’s body should be buried, not left outside to rot. Creon is the current king, who sacrifices relationships with extremely important people in his life for the sake of order in his kingdom. I believe that Creon is a tragic hero, and Antigone is neither a knight of faith or a tragic hero.
In Kierkegaard’s existentialism, the tragic hero will renounce himself for the ethical or universal. This means that the tragic hero will give up what is most important to him for the sake of all others. The tragic hero understands both decisions he can make and their consequences, yet he chooses the decision that will benefit the universal even though that decision will cause the hero an immense amount of pain. This being said, both decisions a tragic hero is presented with are ethical, so there is no real incorrect decision, just a decision that will benefit more and a decision that will benefit less. Everyone can understand the struggles experienced by the tragic hero, so we can all empathize with the pain felt by ...


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...es’ body with in an attempt to bury him after his body had been left out to rot in disgrace. At first, Creon attempts to cover up this incident and send Antigone back to her bed by saying she was ill, but Antigone tells him that she will just go out that night and attempt to bury the body again. Though Creon does try to dissuade Antigone further, and brings up many good points about her brothers and their relationship with their father, Antigone still insists that she should be arrested. Even when Ismene attempts to ameliorate the situation, Antigone rejects her help, saying that Ismene does not deserve to die with her. Antigone even says that she should be killed soon because her disease, the disease that was making her crazy, was spreading to others. Eventually, Antigone is sentenced to be immured, with her execution spurring the suicides of both Ismene and Haemon.

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