Antigone Tragic Hero

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Searching for the Elusive Tragic Hero: a Historical Analysis of Antigone by Jean Anouilh Jean Anouilh’s Antigone was first performed in a theatre in Paris, 1944. During this time, Europe was still in the midst of fighting World War II and Hitler’s Nazi-regime had already defeated and occupied France. This shift in governmental power caused dissension among the citizens of France; the population was split between those who supported France’s collaboration with Germany and those who opposed it (“1944”). As the dramatist of the play Antigone, Jean Anouilh is able to portray the character Antigone as the Aristotelian model of a tragic hero using the literary elements of characterization, conflict, and symbolism. By embodying these characteristics…show more content…
In Antigone, Antigone’s stubbornness is her hamartia, as it eventually leads to her death. For example, Antigone’s bullheadedness is clearly demonstrated during her argument with Ismene during which she says, “Understand, understand, always understand! I don’t want to understand!” (Anouilh 12). This shows how Antigone obdurately refused to accept the reality of a situation, even though she knows that she very well may be in the wrong. Antigone’s hardheadedness is further exemplified when she is brought to Creon after being arrested by the guards, and the guard named Jonas describes his discovery of Antigone’s crime by stating that, “[Antigone] must have known we’d be bound to see her. And when I came running, do you think she stopped or tried to run off? Not a bit of it!” (Anouilh 30). This shows that Antigone had gone against Creon’s orders knowing the death penalty, and that she didn’t care whether she got caught or not. Additionally, Antigone’s decisions when the guards apprehended her emphasized her stubbornness because Antigone disregarded the consequences of her actions and continued to bury her brother even when the guards saw her and tried to apprehend her. Moreover, Antigone’s doggedness is further punctuated when Antigone continued to bury her brother even when the guards saw her and tried to apprehend her. Furthermore, Antigone’s hamartia is apparent when Creon offers to save Antigone by giving her a chance to go back to her room and forget Antigone’s illegal attempt for a burial, Antigone simply states, “you can’t save me, and you can’t force me to do what you want” (Anouilh 36). In the same way, both Marshal Petain and Paul Collette were tragically flawed by their strong-willed behavior. Marshal Petain continued his attempts to rid France of the German occupation even after Hitler had taken away the majority of his political power by reinstating the

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