20 March 2012
Within the tragic play Antigone, by Sophocles, there is a dichotomy between the two main characters: Antigone and Creon. Throughout the play Antigone and Creon both portray a tragic hero; however, Antigone illustrates more qualities of a tragic hero. A tragic hero is one who fails to attain happiness and whose failures excites pity, has a great integrity of character, and is nether extremely benevolent nor malevolent. These are all qualities Antigone has and Creon does not.
There is a large amount of evidence that shows Antigone’s character as being neither benevolent nor malevolent. Antigone shows the reader her admirable side by doing the moral act of covering up and bringing peace to her brother’s, Polyneice, defiled dead body. Sophocles writes, “But as for me, I will bury the brother I love”, to show Antigone’s benevolent act (64-65). Even though it is an illegal act, because she is going against the king’s orders, not to cover up the corpse, it is an honorable act. Antigone also has a malevolent side towards her sister. Antigone states, “Go away, Ismene: I shall be hating you soon, and the dead will too” (77-78). The use of diction “hating” shows the reader Antigone’s hostile behavior. By the author displaying to the reader a both hostile and compassionate side of Antigone, it shows Antigone’s character being neither altruistic nor nefarious; therefore further confirming Antigone’s character as being a tragic hero. Likewise, Creon could be argued to be neither considerably benevolent nor malevolent character. He displays his honorable and generous side by burring Eteocles with full military honor; however, Creon presents more dishonorable acts. Creon defiles Polyneice’s body, is stubborn to others advice, and locks Antigone up with her sister; therefore, displaying nefarious acts, proving him to be a diabolical character.
Another quality of a tragic hero is having tragic flaws, which Antigone shows...