Antigone: The Tragic Hero in Antigone

Topics: Tragedy, Sophocles, Tragic hero Pages: 4 (1443 words) Published: October 21, 2013
In Sophocles' Antigone, the question of who the tragic hero has been the subject of debate for years.  It is uncommon for there to be two tragic heroes in a Greek tragedy, therefore there can be only be one in Antigone.  Although Creon possesses some of the characteristics that constitute a tragic hero, he does not have all of the necessary qualities. Antigone, however, possesses all of the traits that are required for her to be the tragic hero.  According to Aristotle, there are four major characteristics, which the tragic hero is required to have.  The character must be a good, upstanding person, they must focus on becoming a better person, they must be believable, and they must be consistent in his or her behavior. Due to the fact that Antigone represents these four character guidelines, as well as several other protagonist traits, she is certainly the tragic hero of Antigone.

According to Sophocles, in order for Antigone to be the tragic hero, she first must be a good and upstanding person.  In respect of Character there are four things to be aimed at. First, and most important, it must be good. Now any speech or action that manifests moral purpose of any kind will be expressive of character: the character will be good if the purpose is good. This rule is relative to each class. Even a woman may be good, and also a slave; though the woman may be said to be an inferior being, and the slave quite worthless (Aristotle 15). Antigone is an objectively good person and has committed no crime up to her decision to give Polynieces a proper burial.  There is no doubt that Antigone is upstanding and a person of importance in Thebes.  She was arranged to marry Haemon, the son of Creon, and was considered a princess.  Aristotle stated that the characteristic of being a good person was first and most important trait when creating a tragic hero. This is one of the few rule of being a tragic hero that Creon does fall under, partly. Creon is an upstanding person in the...

Cited: "The Internet Classics Archive | Poetics by Aristotle." The Internet Classics Archive | Poetics by Aristotle. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. .
Sophocles. Antigone. The Persus Project. Ed. Gregory R. Crane. Department of Classics Tufts University. Web. 12 September 2013.
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