According to Aristotle’s Poetics, there are four majortraits, which are required of the tragic character. The character must bea good and upstanding person. The character must focus on becoming a betterperson, must be believable, and must be consistent in his or her behavior. Due to the fact that Antigone represents these four character guidelines,as well as several other protagonist traits, she can definitely be defined asthe tragic hero.
In order for Antigone to be the tragic character, she first must be a goodand upstanding person. Antigone is indeed a good-hearted person and hascommitted no crime up to her decision to give her brother, Polynieces, aproper burial. There is no doubt that Antigone is upstanding and a personof importance in Thebes. She was scheduled to marry Haemon, the son ofCreon, and was considered a princess.
Aristotle stated that the aspect ofa good person was first and most important when creating a tragic character. The fact that Antigone is a woman makes no difference, because Aristotleexpressly said, “Even a woman may be good. though the woman may be said tobe an inferior being. “Aristotle’s second rule for determining a tragic character is that theperson must aim at propriety.
The character must work towards becoming abetter person. Antigone illustrates this second guideline by her effortto clear her conscious and bring honor to her family by giving Polynieces adecent burial. By taking this responsibility, and by denying Ismene’sinvolvement in her crime, Antigone shows that she has acquired a greatercourage within herself than she had possessed before. In no way doesCreon comply with Aristotle’s second guideline.
Throughout the play, he doesnot allow himself to see the point of view from other people, such as whenHaemon tries to reason with him, and he neglects the blind prophet,Tiresias, when he warns Creon of his actions. The last two expectations of a tragic character are intertwined. According to Aristotle, the character must be true to life and be consistent inbehavior and actions. He states that these two areas are “a distinctthing from goodness and propriety. ” Following these two guidelines, Antigone isa believable person with realistic thoughts and emotions.
She is also veryconsistent in her behavior, and does not demonstrate a dynamicpersonality. Throughout the entire play, Antigone stands by her beliefs and keeps herattitude constant. Besides the four major outlining rules regarding the tragic character in aGreek drama, Aristotle states several other guidelines that theprotagonist should adhere to. Arguably the most important of these is the aspect ofhamartia, the character’s fatal flaw, which brings about his or herdownfall. Antigone’s flaw was her headstrong behavior and herstubbornness, which ultimately brought about her demise and the demise of those aroundher. Her stubbornness of course, is what forces Antigone to rashly takematters in to her own hands, and take the body of Polynieces.
She did notrealize until she was about to die, that she had possibly acted foolishly. Antigone shared her flaw with Creon, who seemed to have an even moreobstinate personality. It can be argued that it was Creon’s stubbornnessthat brought about the demise of his family, but this cannot justify Creonas the tragic character because he does not meet other necessaryrequirements. To bring up the last point that defines Antigone as the true tragiccharacter in Sophocles’ play, the protagonist must face a conflict inprinciples, and must rely on his self in order to solve the conflict. Atthe beginning of the play, Antigone immediately faces a problem; she mustdecide whether or not her morals are worth risking her life for.
She isforced to decide between honoring the gods and her family or displayingloyalty to the state. The entire play is centered around this conflictbetween morals and Antigone’s final decision. A very confusing aspect of Sophocle’s play, Antigone, is discovering .