6 February /2013
Aristotle’s Tragic Hero
In order to fulfill the requirements of a tragic hero, a hero or a heroine must have certain characteristics. For example, they are required to be a member of royalty, be neither completely good nor completely bad, they have to be responsible for their own downfall due to a hamartia and lastly they need to realize their mistakes and accept their consequences. In Antigone, there are two main characters that fit the criteria of a tragic hero, but only the protagonist, Antigone meets all of the conditions. Antigone meets the second requirement of a tragic heroine, by fulfilling the criteria of being neither entirely good nor completely bad. In the opening of the play, Antigone asks her sister, Ismene to help her give Polynieces a proper burial but Ismene disagrees because she believes that she is breaking the laws Creon enforced. Angry at Ismene's decision she responds, “That must be your excuse, I suppose. But as for me, I will bury the brother I love” (Prol, 64). Antigone at this point is neither good nor bad because she is honoring her families values by doing what Gods laws command. On the other hand, by her burying the the brother, Polynieces, she is also going against Creon's laws and disobeying him. Ismene on the contrary of what Antigone had said, retorts, “ they mean a great deal to me; but I have no strength to break the laws that were made for the public good” (Prol, 62). By Ismene using this Quote, she is not only explaining to Antigone that she respects the laws of the Gods but, she is also warning her about the dangers of going against Creon's law. In addition to Ismene's response, Antigone flabbergasted replies, “ It is the dead not the living, who make the longest demands: we die forever. You may do as you like, since apparently the laws of Gods mean nothing to you” (Prol, 59-61). This quotation fulfills Antigone's requirements of being neither good nor bad; because she is trying to honor...
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