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Antigone is a Tragic Hero

A subject of debate in Sophocles play Antigone is which character complies with the characteristics of a tragic hero. The qualities that constitute a tragic hero are, in no particular order, having a high social position, not being overly good or bad, isolation, being tenacious in their actions, arousing pity in the audience, a revelatory manifestation, and having a single flaw that brings about their own demise and the demise of others around them. Creon possesses some of these qualities but, does not completely fulfill them all. Antigone does, however, conform to the persona of a tragic hero. The first qualifying aspect is that Antigone has a high social position. She is the daughter of Jocasta and Oedipus (the former king and queen of Thebes), and the niece of Creon (the present king of Thebes). Because of her stature she is capable of suffering more and losing the fame and regard she holds. Some may argue that because she had no political power she does not qualify to be a tragic hero but, she is still a powerful figure in Thebes. She was to be wed to Creons son, Haemon, and it seemed as though the citizens of Thebes knew how tragic her life had become. Both Creon and Antigone show that they are not overly good or bad. Creon shows his negative side when he creates a law against burying Polyneices. His positive side is that he has let Antigone and Ismene live with him and raise them after their father passed on. Antigone expresses her positive side when she insists on burying her brother who has been killed in battle.Antigone isolates herself from others, a quality common among tragic heros. Ismene offers to share the crime of burying their brother but, Antigone denies the request by saying, No! Justice will not suffer that; for you Refused, and I gave you no part in it (Lines 538-539). The act of burying her brother was a form of isolation. No one else dared to go against Creons law that forbade the burial of Polyne...

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