Why is Antigone a Tragic Hero?

Updated: June 09, 2023
The play tells the story of a young woman who defies the king's edict that her brother, who died fighting for the losing side in a civil war, is not to be given a proper burial. As a result, she is sentenced to death.
Detailed answer:

In the play Antigone, by Sophocles, Antigone is a tragic hero because she stands up for what she believes in, even though it leads to her downfall. This is shown when Creon orders her death and she refuses to back down from her decision to bury Polynices. She is willing to sacrifice her own life in order to bury her brother, which shows her strong sense of family and love. She also has a strong sense of justice; an attribute that most people would not have at such a young age. Her actions are based on her principles and beliefs, not on what others think or what is convenient. Antigone also possesses many positive qualities such as bravery and determination. Antigone is brave and determined, but also impulsive and stubborn. At times she takes things too far rather than just doing what someone tells her to do without question like other people would do in those situations.

Antigone’s fate is determined by the circumstances in which she finds herself. Her brother Polynices was killed while leading an attack against Thebes, and his body was left unburied because he had been declared an enemy of the state. Antigone refuses to obey King Creon’s order to let his son’s body be buried, even though she knows that she will die for disobeying him. Antigone does not have free will in this situation; she cannot act according to her own desires because they run counter to those of others around her.

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Why is Antigone a Tragic Hero?. (2022, Nov 19). Retrieved from