Antigone - Essay 9

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Aristotle defines a tragic hero as “having high estate, nobility of soul, ability to have free will, having tragic flaw, also somebody we are able to empathize with, a person who suffers from reversal of fortune, achieving enlightenment, accepting responsibility for his/her fall and being able to die bravely.” I am going to use Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero to support evidence to the character Antigone, in the play Antigone.

To me, the tragic hero in the play is Antigone. Antigone, who is the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, becomes infuriated with Creon, who is the king of Thebes and her uncle. Creon will not allow Antigone's brother, Polynices, to be buried. Antigone tells her sister, Ismene, that she will defy Creon’s ruling even though she knows the consequences, which is death.

The first on Aristotle’s tragic hero list is that the character “should be of high estate/class.” Antigone comes from high estate; she was considered a princess and was to be married to Creon’s son, Haemon. Though Antigone came from high estate/class, she still did not carry out the power to make changes; therefore, Antigone’s character of having high estate, yet no power, complies a little with Aristotle’s tragic hero.

Second on Aristotle’s tragic hero list, was that the character “should have nobility of soul or tragic greatness.” Antigone showed nobility of soul because she stood-up for what she believed in knowing the outcomes would cost her life. An example of her nobility was when she first told her sister, Ismene, of what she was going to do. Antigone said, “I’ll bury him myself. And even if I die in the act, that death will be a glory.” I think that this quote shows nobility of soul, as well as, a tragic greatness. She saw it as glory to die for doing the right thing. (Line 85)

Third on Aristotle’s tragic hero list, was that the character “should have free will and make important choices.” From the beginning of the play, until Antigone’s death, she...
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