Sophocles Antigone: A Tragic Hero

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According to Aristotle, a tragic hero is someone “between two extremes... not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is not brought about by some error or frailty” (Poetics). Tragedy is intended to create catharsis by making the audience sympathize with the protagonist. Therefore, the point of a tragic character is to make these emotions. An effective tragedy causes the audience’s emotions to mirror this rise and fall. Antigone has a few tragic flaws going for her, or rather against her. Her loyalty to the gods and her brother 's memory means that she will have to be disloyal to King Creon. Antigone is also pretty stubborn. That is kind of a good trait in a heroic sort of way but unfortunately her stubbornness gets herself in trouble but also risks other characters as well like Ismene and…show more content…
Do you know it? Have you heard it?/Don 't you notice when evils due to enemies/are headed towards those we love?" (Antigone, Line 8-12) Antigone proves her familial loyalty when, after her brothers kill each other, King Creon states that only one of the brothers is to be buried. The other brother is dishonored and must be left to rot. Antigone defies Creon 's orders and buries her fallen brother in spite of the law forbidding the act. This action seals her fate and causes Antigone to be sentenced to death.
Ultimately, what makes Antigone a tragic hero in this play are the traits she possesses which lead to her downfall. It is not necessarily her actions, but her convictions and values which cause her to be such a tragic figure. Antigone’s tragedy comes because of her unswerving loyalty to her brother, Polynices, and her determination to give him burial honors despite the personal danger. Her defiance and disregard of Creon leads to him imprisoning her alive in a tomb, where she commits suicide. Greek tragedy is meant to purge the audience’s emotion and teach
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