Tragic Hero in Antigone
A, “tragic hero,” is defined as the main character of a tragedy, that is equipped with a tragic flaw. Tragic flaws are fatal flaws, such as excessive pride or, in many cases, stupidity. These flaws bring about the downfall of a hero or heroine. In the play, “Antigone,” there are many characters that are tragic heroes. Antigone, has many flaws, and is the most convincing tragic hero. Antigone’s fate is determined in the prologue.
We learn that her brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, have killed each other, in a war over their father’s throne. Creon, the new king, declares that the body of Eteocles will be honored, while Polyneices’s corpse will be left to rot. Declaring that anyone who attempts to bury Polyneices, will be executed. Antigone’s, “flaw,” is her equal love for her brothers. Despite Polyneices’s betrayal, Antigone doesn’t believe it’s fair that Polyneices’ body be left to rot.
Antigone’s fierce devotion is displayed when she declares that she’ll bury Polyneices, despite Creon’s law. “I’ll still bury him. /It would be fine to die while doing that. ” She pridefully goes to Polyneices’s body, sprinkling dirt over his body, providing him with a type of burial. Once Creon learns that Antigone is the one who has broken his law, he threatens her to death. Antigone stands by her pride, in a shocking revolt against her own uncle, and ruler of the land of Thebes.
She believes she’s done the right thing. In the end, Antigone finds herself locked in a tomb where she is supposed to die, instead Antigone hung herself. Many people wouldn’t consider Antigone’s actions, “flawed. ” Pride and family love are admirable traits for anyone to typically have. However, Antigone’s devotion is too extreme, and leads her to death. It is the severity of her pride, and love for her family, that brings about her own downfall. She sacrifices her own life in the name of it.
At times, she even expresses a fervor to die because of it. As she’s led to her tomb, she characterizes death as her future husband. She describes her tomb as a bridal chamber. Though she expresses fear, she never goes back on her word, and takes responsibility for her hubris actions; “Polyneices,/ this is my reward for covering your corpse. / However, for wise people I was right to honor you. ” In her final words, Antigone shows how she embodies a, “tragic hero,” she makes the ultimate sacrifice for her beliefs.