In Antigone, is it possible to choose a tragic hero?

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Dayna Watsica eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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These works that you are reading, the Theban cycle, are all tragedies. So, you will find a lot of tragic figures in all of them. A figure is a tragic one, because of some great quality, which leads to hubris (pride). The average person cannot be tragic, because they are too ordinary. Only the great can be tragic. In my opinion, the Greeks were masters at problematizing two or more important virtues. For example, loyalty to brother or loyalty to father. Or love for city or love for family. Or commitment to justice or commitment to compassion. I think you get the point. In the end, a person has to chose one and therefore not the other; hence the person becomes tragic. From this structural framework, Creon and Antigone (more so) fit this pattern. Antigone has to choose - whatever decision she makes will make her compromise something. For this reason, she will be tragic.

 

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McKinstry Rose eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Yes, it is possible, but you do have more than one option because both Antigone and Creon demonstrate most of the qualities of...

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Michael Stultz, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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