Antigone Tragic Hero

Words: 956
Pages: 4

To be buried alive for burying one’s brother is a cruel and unusual punishment. Man has no divine power over the gods despite what many may think. In Sophocles’ tragedy, Antigone, it is as clear as the ocean is blue that while Antigone herself may not be a textbook example of a tragic hero, she has more of the required characteristics than that of her uncle, Creon. She was born a princess of Thebes, a noble birth. She is devoted to her family above all else, and is truly outraged at the order forbidding her brother’s burial. Antigone says “[I]f I had allowed my own mother’s son to rot, an unburied corpse, that would have been an agony” (Sophocles 82). She says this when asked why she did bury her brother even though Creon had declared it punishable …show more content…
In Antigone, Antigone’s flaw is not even truly a flaw, just socially unacceptable behavior for a woman in her time period. Her hamartia is that she is too passionate, too loyal, too determined to do the right thing by the gods that she accepts the consequences in stride, regardless of how severe they may be. While discussing Antigone’s decision to perform the burial rites on their brother, Ismene exclaims “Oh Antigone, you’re so rash – I’m so afraid for you!” (Sophocles 63). Antigone’s love for her family goes beyond just devotion. She is willing to die for them. And die for them she does. “[H]e has no right to keep me from my own” (Sophocles 61), says Antigone. She has just revealed her plans to bury Polynices to Ismene and is revealing in outrage that Creon thinks he has authority over the gods to forbid her to bury a family …show more content…
She never has a realization that her doom was her own doing. While being taken to die, she never has the stark realization that she messed up. This could be because she does not think she did anything wrong. She does state early in the play that “even if I die in the act it will be a glory” (Sophocles 63). She has no shame or delusion that she will most likely die, but instead the embraces it. She thinks it an honor to die doing what she is supposed to do by the will of the gods.

Creon, in comparison, does have that realization. On page 124 Creon realizes what his blood lust and stupidity has brought. His son, Haemon, plunged his own sword into his chest once he saw Antigone’s dead body in her tomb and curled up to die next to her. His wife, Eurydice, took a dagger to her heart at the alter, cursing his name with her last breaths, for it was Creon who took her son from her, and both Creon and Eurydice knew it.

In conclusion, Antigone is a better tragic hero than Creon because she is too passionate, her being a princess and a good person, and the catharsis her story draws from the audience. She does what she believes is right and allows no one to tell her otherwise. Her love for her family is above all else, even her own