Tragic Hero Antigone
Uploaded by EVJordan on Mar 20, 2004
What qualities generate a hero? Must heroes possess superhuman abilities? In the Greek era, heroism was much more practical. According to Aristotle, a tragic hero must be royal. He/she must be a good, moral person. Yet, every tragic hero must exhibit flaws. His/her flaws must lead to downfall. A hero must be punished or experience suffering. He/she must invoke catharsis into the audience. A tragic hero must recognize his/her wrongs and accept all consequences. Beyond all doubt, Antigone is a tragic hero.
Obviously, Antigone is royal. She is Eteocles, Polyneices and Ismene’s sister. Plus, she is Creon’s niece. However, a tragic hero must be a good, moral person. Antigone has family pride. She is loyal and honorable. Antigone’s conscience would not allow her to leave her beloved brother to be scavenged by animals. “But I will bury him; and if I must die, I say that this crime is holy: I shall lie down with him in death and shall be as dear to him as he to me.” (Prologue, Line 55). Antigone’s pride and loyalty for her family uphold her morals and good nature.
Being human, Antigone exhibited flaws. Antigone demonstrated impressive loyalty and bravery to bury her brother. Yet, becoming a martyr for the cause was extreme. Deciding to transgress the King’s law was a significant faux pas. When Antigone decided to bury her brother, not even the Gods’ ominous whirlwind could defer her. Overpowering pride and loyalty led to Antigone’s ruin.
Importantly, Antigone received punishment. Creon sentenced Antigone to death by nature’s hand. Antigone was imprisoned in a stony tomb where starvation would execute her. After suffering without provisions, Antigone performed euthanasia on herself by committing suicide. Therefore, Antigone was a good person with flaws. Antigone’s imperfections ended her.
Despondently, Antigone invoked catharsis into the audience. The audience felt the combined feelings of pity and fear for Antigone. They felt sympathy and pity for her when she could not bury her brother. They felt fear for her because her death sentence was undeserved. For both of these feelings, the audience could relate to Antigone and could imagine how...