In discussing Antigone, I am having difficulty fully grasping her being a tragic heroine.  Any explanation on this point would be welcome.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Antigone is tragic in so far as she represents one end of a tragic collision.  She does not follow the traditional notion of tragedy in that she does not endure much in way of transformation or a sense of evolution of her character.  In this respect, her father, Oedipus, is far more tragic than she is because he must endure a transformation of character whereby he understands his own pathetic nature, a key element of tragedy.  Antigone does not have to endure this.  She stands tall in her beliefs and accepts them no matter what.  Her demise is only spelled out because she clings to her beliefs.  She gets the label of being a tragic heroine because she represents one end of the collision between the desires of the individual when they come in conflict with those of the state.  I would actually go as far to say that if Antigone is considered tragic for clinging to her beliefs and suffering for them, Creon is also a tragic figure.  If nothing else, he suffers a heck of a lot more than she does and loses more than Antigone.  Additionally, he is compelled to live and to see the results of his actions, making him more tragic than Antigone in my mind.