Why Is Antigone A Tragic Hero

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What makes a tragic character? “According to Aristotle, hamartia, a tragic flaw; hubris, excessive pride; peripeteia, the reversal of luck; anagnorisis, the realization; nemesis, bad luck that the hero cannot avoid; and catharsis, the relinquishment of vigorous emotions from the readers, are attributes of a tragic character.”(Johnston). In Sophocles ' play, Antigone, there are opposing views about who the real tragic character was. While Antigone is considered the tragic character in this play by some people, Creon should be awarded the denomination of the tragic character; he has more qualities of a tragic hero than Antigone. Although one can argue that since Antigone is of a noble status, she is the tragic hero. Antecedently mentioned, there are several traits a tragic hero must possess; Antigone does not meet as many traits as Creon.…show more content…
When he becomes king of Thebes, he proposed a law that commenced the plot in the first place. His law, “...forbids anyone to bury him [Polynices], even mourn him.”(Antigone, Line 34). While this is a justifiable law, it contravened “...the great unwritten, unshakable traditions [Zeus’ laws].”(Antigone, Line 505). Antigone transgressed the law; her reason was that Zeus’ law is more powerful than Creon’s law. Creon thinks that the people will think of him as a liar if he lets Antigone free. Ironically, the people want Antigone to be set free and honored. His hamartia, his fear of losing power, becomes so immense it corrupts him. He even declares that, “...The city is the king’s-that’s the law” (Antigone, Line 824). Little did he know that peripeteia will come rushing forward and make his life
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