Antigone Philosophers Like Aristotle Noticed Term Paper

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Both Antigone and Creon are determined and obstinate. Both exhibit the tragic flaw of hubris, because neither one is willing to surrender his or her will. However, Creon was in the position to avert the tragic ending of the play without sacrificing much more than his pride. Antigone, on the other hand, would have lost everything she believed in and her self-respect if she humbly accepted the marriage and did not raise a voice to Creon. Like Ismene, Antigone would have been another docile woman willing to accept the status quo and as such, she would not have been the play's heroine, tragic or not. Antigone's actions actually show her to be a remarkable hero who cared more for existential peace than for false security or meaningless laws. The tragedy at the end of the play testifies to Antigone's courage and strength.

Determination and stubbornness do not necessarily equal hubris. One of the reasons Socrates is heralded as a hero was because of his willingness to die for the truth. If Antigone bowed under pressure in order to save her life, she would have been a far more tragic figure of failure. She would have been weak, easily influenced and corruptible, and she would have been an entirely different character. As Sophocles wrote her, Antigone used whatever small amount of political influence she had to try and succeed, but Creon ultimately had the upper hand. As a result, Antigone draws attention to the pitfalls of patriarchy as well as to the need for people in power to demonstrate flexibility and compromise.

Antigone works well with two tragic heroes. On the one hand, both Antigone and Creon can both be portrayed as classic tragic heroes with the tragic flaw of hubris that brings about their downfalls. On the other, both heroes demonstrate a more nuanced model of heroism in the classical Greek tragedy in which individuals are willing to undergo pain and suffering in order to either defend or rebel against political and social institutions.

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