Antigone As Tragic Heroine In Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Mythology Type: Essay Paper: #76232431 Related Topics: Oedipus The King Fate, Noble Truth, Oedipus The King, Heroes
Excerpt from Essay :

Thus, the nobility of Antigone's character lies in her reluctance to condemn her sister, whereas her tragic flaw lies in her fanatical devotion to the men in her family, to the point that she wishes to lie with her brother's corpse.

Antigone's fall comes when she is caught burying Polyneices' corpse, and the fact that her subservience to patriarchy is the precise reason for this fall is revealed in Creon's response. When Creon condemns Antigone to her early grave, but before Ismene enters in her attempt to claim responsibility, Creon tell Antigone that she should "Then go down to the dead. If you must love, / love them. No woman's going to govern me" (599-600). Thus, it is Antigone's devotion to honoring men which gets her arrested, and it is the cultural patriarchy of her society which condemns her to being buried alive, perfectly illustrating how Antigone's own tragic flaw results not only in her fall but in the over-the-top severity of her punishment. It is her own fault not only for caring so much about her brother's corpse, but also because she has consistently supported the very patriarchal society which condemns her in the form of Creon.

Even Creon's punishment, that she be buried alive in a tomb, can be seen as the patriarchy casting Antigone back into the womb of the wisdom and redemption following her fall, because her decision to kill herself is ultimately the most effective means at her disposal to combat that very power structure.

Antigone is clearly a tragic heroine in the sense that her tragic flaw ultimately leads to her downfall while nonetheless offering some little bit of respite in the form of wisdom. In this case, her flaw is a devotion to patriarchy in spite of her own best interest (which is essentially the feminine counterpart to the masculine flaw of hubris, at least as long as the characters exist in a predominately patriarchal society). She is condemned to death because of it, but she finally rebels, choosing to kill herself instead of allowing her defiance and death to be used as a means of reinforcing the patriarchy.

Work Cited

Sophocles. Antigone. Vancouver Island University, May 2005. Web. 4 Aug…

Sources Used in Documents:

Work Cited

Sophocles. Antigone. Vancouver Island University, May 2005. Web. 4 Aug 2011.

<http://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/sophocles/antigone.htm>.


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