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Antigone Written Response - Essay Example

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CREON AND ANTIGONE: The most often asked question about the play Antigone by Sophocles, one of the three great Greek writers of tragedy, is who is the tragic hero of the play; is it Antigone or is it Creon? According to Aristotle’s concept, a tragic hero is highly placed,…
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Antigone Written Response

Download file to see previous pages... om a height with impact of high magnitude will lead the audience to what Aristotle calls “ Catharsis”, or purging away of bad traits in their own character. To quote Poetics by Aristotle: “ Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action of high importance , complete and of some amplitude ; in language enhanced by distinct and varying beauties ; acted not narrated; by means of pity and fear effecting its purgation of these emotions.” (From Poetics, Eight Great Tragedies, PP 406)
In this play both Antigone as well as Creon, the ruler of Thebes, seemingly qualify to be the tragic hero. As the play is titled Antigone, one tends to assume that she should be the tragic heroine of the play. But she actually fits into only few of the Aristotelian characteristics of a tragic hero. She is a princess. She is not good or bad in the extreme. She is loyal to her brother, polyneices, for whom she wanted to give a decent burial. When Creon the king denies her this right, she questions the authority of the king and that leads to her death. Thus here is a fall from a highly dignified position which may seem to make Antigone the tragic heroine of the play. But her action is will full and is for a noble cause .She knew the consequences of her action and was ready to perish for it. She was doing what she thought was right.
Creon on the other hand has all the characteristics to be an Aristotelian tragic hero. He is not good, nor is he bad. Though his actions lead to the death of Antigone, he never intended to kill her. He was trying to keep the law of his own rule over the Thebans. But beyond this motif, his actions are out of his arrogance and stubbornness. He was so arrogant to think that being the king his was the final word with no responsibility to the people. “No. I am king and responsible only to myself.” says Creon during his argument with his own son, Haemon. (Antigone, line 738, The Theban Plays, PP146). During this argument he refuses to admit the error in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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