Antigone: A Tragic Hero EssayHeroes come in many forms. Some such as immense in size and strength asHercules, some in the form of people that are shunned upon, such as HarrietTubman, and some that are only valorous heroes to some, such as Kurt Cobain. These heroes have many characteristics that make people flock to their side andfollow them without a thought of hesitation. In Sophocles’ Antigone the herois a women that believes in her heart far stronger than that of her leader’srule. This brings up many characteristics that are shown within her that arealso seen in other heroes.
One being that she is up against an impossible enemy,one who does not fit well into society’s mold, and is destroyed by her own pride. For these characteristics Antigone is given the title of an epic Heroin. Antigone is one of the lucky townsfolk to be born of a royal house, yet isunlucky to be born in the House that she is born into. As Antigone defiesCreon’s law, she is cast into a pool of danger between what she believes isright and what the state’s law decrees is right.Order now
As Antigone is charged withthe burying of her brother, an action which the King has declared unlawful, sheholds like stone to her undying gratitude for her deceased brother. She holdsto this thought because of the fact that she believes that her, who diedfighting against the state, must be interred with the same honor as her brotherwho died defending the state. She believes that this will help lift the curseplagued on the household. The curse in which there father tried to hold at bayand failed. Her sister Ismene warned Antigone by exclaiming “Sister please,please! remember how our father die: hated, in disgrace, wrapped in horror ofhimself, his own hand stabbing out his sight. And how his mother-wife in one,twisted off her earthly days with a cord.
And thirdly how our two brothers ina single day each achieved for each a suicidal Nemesis” (166). This hasalready gave Antigone the mind set that even the Gods are against her will. Sheis also up against a great foe in fighting that of Creon’s edict. Ismene hassaid this: “The rest, if we defy our sovereign’s edict and his power. Remindourselves that we are women, and such not made to fight with men. For mightunfortunately is right and makes us bow to things like this and worse” (167).
So as one would believe Antigone sees herself as not only on who can defy thepower of the Gods but the power of the state. Thus she would be up against anforce greater than her own. Second, another characteristics of a tragic hero isthat the person does not always fit into society’s mold. The tragic hero isusually one who wants change, yet also needs the peace that goes along withstability. The fact that the tragic hero also usually thinks that they are inthere right mind when yet the rest of the society thinks that they are mad.
Antigone has said “Say that I am mad, and madly let me risk the worst that I cansuffer and the best” (168). this shows that although Antigone thinks she isdoing is right, she also does not care how the other members of society deemher for her action. Antigone also must believe that she must be different fromnot only society but members of her family. Creon notes on this when he isasking her about his proclamation “O, she’s the man, not I, if she can walk awayunscathed! I swear I hardly care if she be my sister’s child, or linked to meby blood more closely than any member of my hearth and home (181). This shouldalso show one that Creon does not care about her nobility and that he will treather just like one any other member of society.
Lastly, Antigone is inherentlydestroyed by the one thing that is her tragic flaw: excessive pride. This wasalso a downfall of her father Oedipus. This pride could also be confused withhonor. Antigone not only defies Creon’s edict but also makes a mockery of itwhen he asks her about it. When asked if she knows the edict her exclamation is”Of course I knew.
Was it not publicly proclaimed?” (179). This line clearlyshows .