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    Antigone - Who's Tragedy Is It? by lovewins47 In Sophocless Antigone, the two protagonists, Antigone and her uncle Creon,could both claim the title of tragic hero. But which of these is the real deal? Antigone is a story of conflict and of passion. Tofully understand this text, we must first understand the background behind it. Antigone and her sister Ismene are the daughters ofOedipus, from Oedipus Rex. Much has happened since Oedipuss banishment, and in the tale Seven Against Thebes the story ofOedipuss two sons both vying for supremacy. Eteocles takes control of Thebes, and, bitter and angry, his brother Polynicesraises an army to march against the city. Both are slain in the ensuing battle. This is where the story of Antigone picks up. Creon,Oedipuss brother in law and uncle (Oedipus married his mother) is now King of Thebes. He issues a decree to give funeralhonours to one, but not the other. He honours Eteocles for defending the city, but leaves Polynices out to be eaten by dogs. However,as part of his family, it is Antigones right and obligation to bury both of her brothers, and she does so. Under Creons edict,this incurs the death penalty for the headstrong young woman. Creon becomes increasingly stubborn, eventually showing hubris, whichthe gods could not ignore for any longer. He imprisons her alive in a tomb, not knowing that his son Haemon, who is bethrothed to her,follows. The prophet Teiresias comes to Creon and after initial resistance, Creon repents and decides to go to free Antigone. He findsthat he is too late, however, and rather tragically, Antigone has hung herself, Haemon falls on his sword before Creons eyes andthe body of Creons wife is found shortly after, leaving Creon a broken man. Creons tragedy is his dilemma over how hedeals with his headstrong niece, Antigone. He upholds the law of the polis, or city, and as king, upholds his edicts. When Antigonerebels against his law, he becomes stubborn, close minded and begins to commit hubris. He insults Hades by dishonouring death,Aphrodite by breaking up the marriage of Haemon and Antigone, Earth by imprisoning Antigone in her alive and Zeus, saying toLet the eagles carry his carcass up to the throne of Zeus. He refuses to listen to Antigones case and ignores hissons pleas for reason and mercy. This leads to him being brought down by the gods, his wife and son committing suicide, onelife in payment for the death he caused and one for the dishonour he dealt to Polynices, left lying above the ground. Antigonestragedy comes because of her unswerving loyalty to her brother, Polynices, and her determination to give him burial honours despite

  • the personal danger. Her defiance and disregard of Creon leads to him imprisoning her alive in a tomb, where she commits suicide.Aristotle defined a tragic hero as someone between two extremes. not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is notbrought about by some error or frailty (Aristotle, Poetics). Tragedy is meant to produce catharsis by making the audienceempathise with the protagonist. The purpose of a tragic character, therefore, is to produce these emotions by being raised to a greatheight and then sent plummeting down. An effective tragedy causes the audiences emotions to mirror this rise and fall. Somewould argue that Antigone is indeed the main tragic character, as her fate is unarguably tragic. She at first, celebrates a victory whenshe is caught by the sentry and put to trial before Creon. However, there is no moment of Oh, its going to be alright nowas there is in Oedipus Rex when Oedipus finds that Polybus is dead of natural causes and thinks that half the prophecy about himmarrying his mother and murdering his father is unfulfilled. Aristotle used Oedipus Rex as the example of a perfect representation of atragic play in the Poetics, However, Antigone, although she does experience a tragic end due to her own actions and harmatia, orflaw, she does not experience that lifting up. Indeed, it is obvious from the beginning that she is heading towards death. Creon on theother hand, is seen as a very strong and fair minded leader at first. His fatal flaw is his stubbornness and reluctance to see anyoneelses view. He begins, like Oedipus, as a character that is easily admired and portrayed as an open, caring king I havealways held the view that a king whose lips are sealed by fear, unwilling to seek advice, is damned. And no less damned is he whoputs a friend above his country. These patriotic words would have appealed to the Ancient Greek audience, who were proud of theirdemocracy and way of life. However, there is typical Sophoclean irony in that these words are also a foreshadowing of his tragedy he puts the State too far before his family, and as a result, he loses his wife and son. There is also that crucial moment when theaudience is assured that thinkgs will in fact, turn out well. After Creon decided to heed Teiresiass words, he decidestwas I imprisoned her and I will set her free, deciding to undo the what he had done. However, Teiresias had come notwith a warning, but a judgement. The audiences emotions and hopes are sent crashing down as Creon arrives too late Antigone is dead, his son falls on his sword before his eyes and the discovery of his wifes body is reported by a messenger.Greek tragedy is meant to purge the audiences emotion and teach them. Creon, then fulfils this purpose well. This leads me tothe conclusion that actually, he is the main tragic character, as he makes many decisions which could have led him either towards histragedy or away from it, but ultimately he led himself to tragedy. This keeps the audience guessing and heightens catharsis, whileAntigones fate was quite obvious from the beginning where she says If I die for it, what happiness! There is also a largercapacity for learning as Creon, having been punished and learning a very hard lesson, teachers the audience as well. He is left alive,which allows the audience to empathise more because his grief is evident when he carries his sons body out of the palace. WhileAntigone is indeed a tragic character with a tragic fate, it is arguable that Creon is in fact, more tragic. 1. Antigone: A tragic hero? Atragedy is a poem in which the protagonist, the tragic hero, is shown and falls. In Antigone by Sophocles, Antigone is the true tragichero. It may not be completely clear, but when looked at closely Antigone fits Aristotle's mold of the tragic hero easily. She hadcompletely fulfilled all aspects of the tragic hero. Creon may be seen as a tragic hero, but Antigone is the main protagonist. 2. TheTragic Hero Of Antigone The Tragic Hero of Antigone Sophocles" Antigone is the story of the battle between Antigone and Creon andtheir different views on laws placed by man and those placed by gods. Antigone is the classic tragic hero in the Greek tragedy.Antigone is very prideful and she is also driven by her deep emotions, this is her tragic flaw. Antigone is the only tragic hero inSophocles" Antigone. Although Creon displays a few of the traits of a tragic hero, Antigone is the only character that possesses themall. 3. Antigone's Battle Antigone"s BattleMost people look up to heroes, like athletes, actors, fire fighters, or police men. But inSopholes" play Antigone, there were two tragic heroes, Antigone was the tragic heroine. A tragic hero is someone who is notcompletely good or completely bad, someone who falls from tremendous good and recognizes their tragic flaw. In these three waysAntigone was the tragic heroine.There are many ways Antigone proves she is a good person, such as when she wants to bury herbrother, Polyneices,aE But Polyneices who fought as bravely and died as miserably. aE (693). She r. 4. Creon is the Tragic HeroWhat is a tragic hero? A tragic hero has a flawed character which makes him fall; he must try to resolve a conflict but ends up failing.The play Antigone by Sophocles makes it hard for the readers to decide who is the tragic hero. Creon best fits in with the definition ofa tragic hero. Since Antigone stood up for her self his ego is hurt. 5. The Tragic Hero in Antigone There is still an immense debate onwho is, in fact, the true tragic hero in Sophocles" Antigone. Many think that the tragic hero is Antigone because the play does reallybear her name. But in actuality, Creon is the true tragic hero. In order to determine who the real tragic hero is, one will have to answerthe question, "What is a tragic hero. The major cause of the downfall of Thebes is the poor ability of Creon and his evil actions to tellapart what is right and wrong.To sum up, Creon is the true tragic hero in Antigone. Antigone as a Tragic Hero Jeremy J. Parker It isnot often in Greek myth or tragedy that a woman is found portrayed as a tragic hero. However, Sophocles makes the hero of hisAntigone, the third and last play in the theme of Oedipus' life, a woman. And though this is out of context for a Greek play, it is stillconsidered one of the greatest Greek tragedies ever to have been written. The tragic hero of this drama is Antigone, the characterfrom which the play derives its title. This is shown by the fact that not only is she the protagonist of the play, but she also holds certainqualities of a tragic hero. What seems to be least important in determining the tragic hero of this play, in fact, is whether or not the herois male or female, which is surprising due to the misogynistic tendencies of most Greek stories. What are most important are the threemajor characteristics concerning the make up of a tragic hero. First, it is important that the hero must be of noble descent. Second, thehero must be judged by the audience (whose opinion generally rests on the opinion of the Chorus) to be a good and just person. Andthird, the hero must have a tragic flaw; without it there would be no dramatic complications or tragic consequences. Antigone does, infact, have all.

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