Mitchell1 Jevon Mitchell Ms. Hall World Lit 13 March 2014 Antigone Character Analysis Loyalty and determination are two great characteristics to have as a person, but they are not so great when they blind you from exactly what you are doing. This is the tragic flaw of the tragic hero Antigone. Antigone is the protagonist of Antigone a tragic play written by Sophocles, one of the great ancient Greek playwrights. In Antigone written by Sophocles, Antigone’s uncompromising pride, loyalty, and determination all directly lead to her downfall. Antigone is a very strong- headed person and she does what she believes is correct in he eyes of the Gods. In this case it’s staying loyal to her brother, Polynices and to the laws of the Gods. To remain loyal to her own flesh and blood Antigone must defy the decree of her uncle, Creon, the king of Thebes. Creon decrees that no one buries the body of the traitor, Polynices but Antigone doesn’t believe that something that bold is in his jurisdiction so she decides that she will give him a burial anyway. “And if I have to die for this pure crime, I am content, for I shall rest beside him; this love will answer mine. ” (72-74) Antigone tells her ister Ismene that she is not afraid to die for the ‘crime’ of burying her brother. She would rather be dead for defying the laws of man than disobey the laws of God and leave her brother out to rot. She believes that there will be a reward from the gods in the after-life for obeying the laws that they set. Shortly before she tells this to Ismene Antigone says “… I shall lie down with him in death, and I shall be as dear to him as he is to me. ”(55) Here 1 Mitchell2 Antigone is stating that she will be happy with her decision of dying so he can receive a proper burial and she believes that he would be proud of her for doing this.
That really displays the loyalty of Antigone and her belief that everyone should be as loyal as her. Antigone was very loyal to her immediate family members, but this loyalty was led by something even more powerful inside of Antigone, determination. Antigone had a very strong sense of determination. She was always determined to do what was right in the eyes of the Gods and she will go to extreme measures to do what she believes is right and what will please the gods. “I intend to give my brother burial. I will be glad to die in the attempt, — if it is a crime, then it is a crime that God commands” (7)
Antigone is saying that no matter the consequences she will bury her brother. She is even willing to give her own life in determination to follow the laws of the Gods. Antigone believes this kind of determination will reward her in the afterlife. “Use that excuse, if you like, but I indeed will go and heap a tomb for my dearest brother. ” (81-82) Here Antigone is telling her sister Ismene that she will go alone if she is too scared. This shows that even without the help of anyone else she is determined to bury her fallen brother. Even though Antigone was very determined to please the Gods her determination was led by one thing, nd that one thing is the pride that she has in herself. Antigone’s pride is her most blinding tragic flaw by far. Antigone is a very prideful person. Her pride almost comes off as arrogance. She believes that she doesn’t have to listen to man’s law because God’s law will always overrule it. With that mindset she thinks that she can do whatever she wants to as the Gods will set it right in the afterlife. “But I know, I’ll please the ones I’m duty bound to please” (110) Antigone is speaking with Ismene about committing the ‘crime’ of burying her brother and when Ismene says that it is not a good idea Mitchell3 to defy Creon’s decree Antigone is basically telling her that she does not have to listen to his rules or please him as long as she is pleasing the Gods. She thinks that they are the only people that she is obligated to listen to and please. “But I will bury him, and if I must die, I say that this crime is holy. ” (55-58) As long as she is considered holy for going against the king’s rule and burying her brother she does not care that she has committed a crime. Once again this shows Antigone’s belief that the laws of the Gods overrule the laws of man. All of
Antigone’s tragic flaws are powered by pride, which could be both a great and terrible quality to have. In Antigone, the tragic play written by Greek playwright Sophocles the protagonist, Antigone, lets her pride, loyalty and determination blind her from the reality of the situation that she is in. This ultimately leads to her downfall. She gets so proud that she openly and happily defies Creon’s decree. Antigone’s determination to stay loyal to her mother’s son blinded her to how tragic her consequences would really be. People should never be so caught up in pleasing someone without processing what will really happen. 3