Antigone: not the tragic hero

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Antigone: Not the Tragic Hero
Sophocles, a great tragedian, was the one who gave Greek tragedies their traditional form. An important part of traditional Greek tragedies is the presence of a tragic hero. All tragic heroes should have the characteristics of rank, a tragic flaw, a downfall, and a recognition of mistakes. The seemingly tragic hero is Antigone. She wants to bury her brother Polyneices even though this would be going against Creon, who is her uncle and the king. When Antigone buries Polyneices Creon sentences her to death because of it. In Antigone by Sophocles the tragic hero is not Antigone because she only meets the characteristic of a tragic flaw, hers being pride, but doesn 't meet the other three characteristics of a tragic hero. Through Ismene 's response it 's clear that Antigone does not meet the characteristic of rank even though she is of royal blood, because to have rank there has to be more than a title. All she has is a title, she is of no value and has no power in her society because she is a woman. In the Prologue Antigone tries to get her sister, Ismene to help her bury their brother Polyneices. Ismene refuses saying, "We are only women; we cannot fight with men, Antigone" (46)! Here it 's shown that Ismene does not believe it would be wise to bury Polyneices because it would be going against the will of Creon and other men. Ismene 's word choice demonstrates to readers that she believes that women are extremely inferior to men. This belief is established when she says her and her sister are “only women". With the usage of the word "only" it is demonstrated to readers that she perceives herself, Antigone, and other women as inferior to men. She believes they are "only" women, not of huge importance, easily replaced, and insignificant. She obviously accepts that she is inferior to men as seen in her response. Ismene 's views of women are acceptable in her society. Not only are women not valued highly in ancient Greek society, they

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