Tragic Hero By reading Sophocles, Antigone, one may think that the name of the play should be Creon instead; this is because his tragedy is the axis of the work. It is also clear that he is a tragic character, but not the only tragic character in the play. Antigone is battling against Creon, but she is also clashing against patriarchy, the power of the state, and the rules of the society, all in good virtue. Through her actions, Antigone proves to be more of the tragic heroine than simply a tragic character.
Antigone certainly qualifies Aristotle s definition of a tragic hero in that the character is neither completely noble nor entirely evil. The Chorus reminds the reader that Antigone is a threat to order and the law that protects the good of the people, because she is in opposition to the throne of Justice. On the other hand there are different justices at work in the play: there is justice symbolized by Creon, which are man made laws, and there is justice symbolized by Antigone, which are laws of morals. What makes Antigone more of a tragic heroine, is the idea of the individual and their sense of right and wrong, struggling against the strength of the state and its laws. This theme captivates the readers and makes them more compassionate towards Antigone. Even Creon s good intentions, combined with his stubbornness and pride gave the reader an impression of him as a tyrant.
Conversely, Antigone s action is heroic in the sense that she defies the power of the state out of love for her brother and faith in her morals. Even in death, Antigone is more heroic that Creon. Her death is seen as a martyr like experience, and her fall, unlike Creon s, is self-willed. Heroically, Antigone sees her death coming. Creon s fate, even though he had warning, crept up on him from behind. Antigone is the character who amazes the reader with her determination.
She also shows stubbornness and prid but this is part of her merit. In contrast, the reader can only wait for Creon to change his mind to late. Both Antigone and Creon serve as tragic roles in the play, but Antigone s virtue and actions brought on by her conscience, lead her to serve as the tragic heroine.