Antigone as a Tragic Hero and The Tragic Fate

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 541 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Words: 541|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

From ancient Greek literature, the concept of the tragic hero has emerged as a captivating and enduring archetype. Sophocles, one of the renowned playwrights of this era, masterfully crafted the character of Antigone, a young woman who challenges the unjust laws of her city-state, Thebes. Throughout the play, Antigone's tragic fate unfolds, and her actions and characteristics align with the defining traits of a tragic hero. Through her unwavering determination, her rebellion against a tyrannical regime, and her ultimate demise, Antigone embodies the essence of a tragic hero as portrayed in classical Greek literature.

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Antigone's unwavering determination serves as a crucial aspect of her tragic hero persona. Despite the consequences and potential dangers she faces, Antigone remains steadfast in her pursuit of justice. She declares, "Nor could I think that a decree of yours—A man—could override the laws of heaven unwritten and unchanging" (Sophocles, 453-455). This quote showcases Antigone's unwavering commitment to her beliefs and her defiance of the king's decree. Her resolve to bury her brother, Polynices, demonstrates her loyalty and adherence to divine laws, even at the cost of her own life. This unwavering determination highlights Antigone's tragic flaw, her excessive pride, which ultimately leads to her downfall.

Moreover, Antigone's rebellion against a tyrannical regime exemplifies her status as a tragic hero. In her defiance of King Creon's decree, Antigone challenges the authority and power of the state. She bravely asserts, "But I will bury him; and if I must die, I say that this crime is holy" (Sophocles, 86-87). This quote showcases Antigone's willingness to confront and oppose the oppressive regime, even if it means her own demise. Her rebellion against unjust laws reflects the inherent conflict between individual conscience and the authority of the state. Antigone's courageous acts of resistance make her a symbol of defiance and a tragic hero who fights against injustice, even when faced with dire consequences.

Additionally, Antigone's ultimate demise further solidifies her tragic hero status. As the play progresses, Antigone's fate becomes increasingly inevitable. Despite her noble intentions and unwavering determination, she cannot escape the tragic destiny that awaits her. Her death serves as a cathartic moment, evoking pity and fear in the audience, as Sophocles intended. The chorus mournfully reflects, "The living are no more than ghosts and shadows. The dead, the dead are gone forever" (Sophocles, 526-527). This quote emphasizes the tragic nature of Antigone's fate, highlighting the inevitable consequences of her actions. Antigone's downfall is not only a result of her own excessive pride but also a product of the larger forces at play in the universe, showcasing the tragic inevitability of her demise.

In conclusion, Antigone embodies the characteristics of a tragic hero through her unwavering determination, her rebellion against a tyrannical regime, and her ultimate demise. Her unwavering commitment to her beliefs, her defiance of oppressive laws, and her tragic fate align with the conventions of ancient Greek literature. Through her tragic flaw of excessive pride, Antigone's actions and fate demonstrate the timeless allure and power of the tragic hero archetype. Sophocles' portrayal of Antigone as a tragic hero in his play Antigone serves as a captivating reminder of the complexities of human nature and the tragic consequences of challenging the established order.

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Sophocles. "Antigone." Translated by Robert Fagles, Penguin Classics, 1984.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Antigone as a Tragic Hero and the Tragic Fate. (2024, Jun 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
“Antigone as a Tragic Hero and the Tragic Fate.” GradesFixer, 14 Jun. 2024,
Antigone as a Tragic Hero and the Tragic Fate. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 Jul. 2024].
Antigone as a Tragic Hero and the Tragic Fate [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 14 [cited 2024 Jul 23]. Available from:
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