Antigone: A Tragic Hero

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What would you do if your only right was taken away from you? Back in ancient Greece, women were expected to perform the proper burial rituals on the deceased. Mourning the dead was one of the few things women were allowed to do since they were not treated equally with men. In the Greek tragedy Antigone, a young women named Antigone takes on the role of a tragic hero. A tragic hero is a character in a dramatic misfortune who experiences a major downfall resulting from a flaw. Antigone is the tragic hero of Sophocles’ Antigone because of her fierce, stubborn devotion to her family, her display of hubris, and her tragic downfall which leads her to her death. Antigone is always loyal to her brother, Polynices, and her family, putting his needs…show more content…
Creon, the new king of Thebes, declares that Eteocles will be buried while Polynices will not. Because of the decree, Antigone decides she will go against Creon’s written law and bury Polynices so that his soul can be at rest. On the other hand, Ismene, Polynices’ sister, does not want anything to do with going against Creon and burying her own brother. Ismene asks, “Madwoman, even when Creon forbids it?” (Ant. 49). Antigone replies, “He has no right to keep me from my own” (Ant. 50). Antigone states that she does not care about Creon’s law; she wishes to follow the unwritten law by the Gods. She thinks her brother deserves the best; she longs him to find peace and not be stuck in between two worlds. Antigone does not want to listen to her sister or take her advice on the situation. Antigone is stubbornly devoted to burying Polynices. Her stubborn loyalty to burying him becomes her tragic error…show more content…
Her stubbornness towards Creon and his rule are two of the main reasons she dies. She chooses to break the rules. She knows from the beginning that if she buries him, her future would not be the same. After Creon finds out Antigone broke his rule and performed the burial rituals on her brother Polynices, Creon puts her in a cave to starve. Creon puts her there so that he does not actually have to take the blame for her death and be a murderer. Antigone decides to end her life and hang herself. She knows it was waiting for her all along: she knows the consequence but did it anyway. Before Antigone dies, she says, “Unwept, friendless, with no marriage hymn, unfortunate, I am taken down the prepared road. It is no longer right for unhappy me to see the holt eye of light, but no friend groans over my unwept fate” (Ant. 882-888). She wants people to understand she did it for her family because she loves them. Antigone says, “O tomb, O bridal bower, o underground home everlasting whither I journey to my own people, whose great number--so many destroyed--Persephone has received among the dead. To these I go down--the last of them all and worst by far, before my allowance of life is spent” (Ant. 897-903). Shortly after, she commits suicide and hangs herself because she knows she did what the gods wanted her to do. Antigone’s fiancee, Creon’s son Haemon sees her dead. Haemon is so

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