Antigone: The Tragic Hero in Antigone

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Antigen, the question of who the tragic hero has been the subject of debate for years. It Is uncommon for there to be two tragic heroes in a Greek tragedy, therefore there can be only be one In Antigen. Although Croon possesses some of the characteristics that constitute a tragic hero, he does not have all of the necessary qualities. Antigen, however, possesses all of the traits that are required for her to be the tragic hero.

According to Aristotle, there are four major characteristics, which the tragic hero is required to have. The character must be a good, upstanding person, they must focus on becoming a better person, they must be believable, and they must be consistent in his or her behavior. Due to the fact that Antigen represents these four character guidelines, as well as several other protagonist traits, she is certainly the tragic hero of Antigen. According to Sophocles, in order for Antigen to be the tragic hero, she first must be a good and upstanding person.

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In respect of Character there are four things to be aimed at. First, and most important, it must be good. Now any speech or action hat manifests moral purpose of any kind will be expressive of character: the character will be good If the purpose Is good. This rule Is relative to each class. Even a woman may be good, and also a slave; though the woman may be said to be an inferior being, and the slave quite worthless (Aristotle 15). Antigen Is an objectively good person and has committed no crime up to her decision to give Policies a proper burial.

There is no doubt that Antigen is upstanding and a person of importance in Thebes. She was arranged to marry Hammond, the son of Croon, and was considered a princess. Aristotle stated that the characteristic of being a good person was first and most important trait when creating a tragic hero. This is one of the few rule of being a tragic hero that Croon does fall under, partly. Croon is an upstanding person in the community of Thebes, he is the king after all. However, it is highly arguable whether or not he is a good person.

If you view his actions throughout the play, he Is, rather objectively I might add, not a good person. Aristotle second rule for determining a tragic hero Is that the person must work for propriety. The character must work towards becoming a better person. “The second thing to aim at is propriety. There is a type of manly valor: but valor in a woman, or unscrupulous cleverness, is inappropriate” (Aristotle 15). This means that the character must always try to do what is right and not let any of their petty traits to any other people stop them from doing what is right.

Antigen illustrates this second guideline in her effort to clear her conscious and bring honor to her family by burying Policies. By taking it upon herself to take action In that situation, and also y denying Kinsmen’s involvement in her crime, Antigen shows that she has acquired a greater valor within herself than she had possessed before. In no way does Croon comply with Aristotle second guideline. Throughout the play, Croon does not allow himself to see the perspective of others, such as when Hammond tries to reason with him, and he neglects the blind prophet, Treaties, when he warns Croon of his actions.

Croon does not make any attempt to become a better person until the blind prophet tells him Then know, yes, know it well! You will not live through many more courses ions, a corpse in requital for corpses… For these crimes the avenging destroyers, the Furies of Hades and of the gods, lie in ambush for you, waiting to seize you in these same sufferings. And look closely if I tell you this with a silvered palm. A time not long to be delayed will reveal in your house wailing over men and over women… There, now, are arrows for your heart, since you provoke me, launched at you, archer-like, in my anger…

Boy, lead me home, so that he may launch his rage against younger men, and learn to keep a quieter tongue and a better mind within his breast than he now ears (Sophocles 1064-1090). Treaties is explaining to Croon that if he continues down his current path, no good can come of it for himself. Screen’s reaction in attempting to let Antigen go does not constitute him trying to become a better person, because a better person would free her Just because of the implications it would have for him, but rather because it is the right thing to do. The last two expectations of a tragic hero are intertwined.

According to Aristotle, the character must be true to life and be consistent in behavior and actions. Thirdly, harasser must be true to life: for this is a distinct thing from goodness and propriety, as here described. The fourth point is consistency: for though the subject of the imitation, who suggested the type, be inconsistent, still he must be consistently inconsistent (Aristotle 15). Following these two guidelines, Antigen is a believable person with realistic thoughts and emotions. She felt it was okay to break the law to give her brother a proper burial and not let him be disrespected.

She is also very consistent in her behavior. She always shows courage and never wavers from ere decision to honor her brother. Throughout the entire play, Antigen stands by her beliefs and keeps her attitude constant. Croon does not follow this rule for being a tragic hero because he changes his mind once he finds out an outcome may be bad for him at every turn. For instance, he decides to let Antigen go the first time she is brought to him because she is to marry his son. Then he frees her only because Treaties told him keeping her would end unfavorable for him.

Besides the four major rules regarding the tragic hero in a Greek drama, Aristotle tastes several other guidelines that the protagonist should adhere to. Arguably the most important of these is the aspect of hamster, the character’s fatal flaw, which brings about his or her downfall. Antigen’s flaw was her headstrong behavior and her stubbornness, which ultimately brought about her incarceration and suicide and the demise of those around her, such as the suicides of Hammond and Eurydice. Her stubbornness of course, is what forces Antigen to rashly take matters in to her own hands, and bury the body of Policies.

She did not realize that it was possible she acted foolishly until she was about to die. Antigen shared her flaw with Croon, who had an even more inflexible personality. It can be argued that it was Screen’s stubbornness that brought about the demise of his family, but this cannot Justify Croon as the tragic hero because he does not all of the requirements. He is not a good person, he does not work toward being a better person, and he is all but consistent in his actions. Finally, the protagonist must face a conflict in principles, and must rely on him or her self in order to solve the conflict.

At the beginning of the lay, Antigen immediately faces a problem; she must decide whether or not her morals are worth risking her life for. She is forced to decide between honoring the centered around this conflict between morals and Antigen’s final decision. A confusing aspect of many Greek tragedies, including Antigen, is discovering who the true tragic hero actually is. Dodo this, one only has to understand the rules and guidelines for Greek tragedy, which Aristotle specified in Poetics. When Aristotle strict guidelines are applied to both Croon and Antigen, it becomes apparent that there can only be one tragic hero.

Croon fulfills some of the aspects required of a tragic hero, but is immediately eliminated as the true tragic hero because he fails to fall into the other important categories. Because Antigen does fulfill all of the requirements, it is safe to assume that she is the true tragic hero in the play. Works Cited “The Internet Classics Archive I Poetics by Aristotle. ” The Internet Classics Archive I Poetics by Aristotle. N. P. , n. D. Web. 10 Cot. 2013.. Sophocles. Antigen. The Versus Project. Deed. Gregory R. Crane. Department of Classics Tufts University. Web. 12 September 2013.

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