Tragic Flaw in Antigone

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 576 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 6, 2024

Words: 576|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 6, 2024

Throughout literature, tragic flaws have played a prominent role in shaping characters and driving the plot forward. One such example can be found in the ancient Greek play, Antigone, written by Sophocles. The protagonist, Antigone, possesses a tragic flaw that ultimately leads to her downfall. This flaw, characterized by her excessive pride and stubbornness, has a profound impact on both her own fate and the outcome of the play as a whole.

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Antigone's tragic flaw primarily manifests itself through her hubris and stubbornness. From the beginning of the play, it is evident that she holds a strong belief in her own moral righteousness. She is determined to defy the decree of her uncle, King Creon, which forbids burying her brother Polynices, who fought against the city of Thebes in a civil war. Antigone's stubborn insistence on burying Polynices despite the law not only showcases her unwavering loyalty to her family but also highlights her hubris.

Antigone's hubris is further emphasized when she openly confronts King Creon and challenges his authority. She firmly believes that her own moral code surpasses the laws enforced by the state, an attitude that ultimately proves to be her downfall. Her stubbornness in refusing to compromise or seek a middle ground exacerbates the conflict and intensifies the tragic consequences.

The consequences of Antigone's tragic flaw are far-reaching, affecting not only herself but also those around her. Firstly, her refusal to obey the law results in her own isolation and alienation from society. As Antigone becomes a fugitive, she finds herself separated from her sister Ismene, with whom she shares a close bond. Furthermore, her act of defiance creates a divide within the city, leading to unrest and discord among its citizens.

The tragic flaw also contributes to the downfall of other characters in the play. Antigone's defiance pushes King Creon to implement merciless punishments, resulting in the deaths of Haemon, his son, and Eurydice, his wife. In this way, Antigone's tragic flaw indirectly leads to the tragic demise of her loved ones as well.

Throughout the play, Antigone experiences a gradual realization of the consequences brought about by her tragic flaw. Initially unwavering in her beliefs, she begins to question her own actions as the play progresses. Antigone wrestles with her choices while contemplating her imminent death, recognizing the price she has paid for her prideful defiance.

Antigone's final moments and soliloquy showcase her acceptance of her fate and the catharsis that accompanies it. Her tragic flaw has served as a vehicle for her transformation, allowing her to gain a deeper understanding of the consequences of her actions and the limitations of her own beliefs.

The tragic flaw portrayed in Antigone resonates with audiences across time and cultures. Antigone's excessive pride and stubbornness serve as cautionary elements, highlighting the dangers of hubris and unchecked personal convictions. This universal theme reminds individuals of the importance of humility and the repercussions that can arise when one's beliefs clash with societal norms and laws.

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Sophocles' play, Antigone, portrays the tragic flaw of its eponymous protagonist through her excessive pride and stubbornness. Antigone's hubris leads her to defy the state and results in her own isolation, as well as the subsequent downfall of those around her. However, her tragic flaw also provides an avenue for self-reflection and growth, offering a valuable lesson on the dangers of unchecked personal convictions. The universal theme of the tragic flaw presented in Antigone serves as a timeless reminder of the perils of hubris and the necessity for humility.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Tragic Flaw in Antigone. (2024, March 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from
“Tragic Flaw in Antigone.” GradesFixer, 06 Mar. 2024,
Tragic Flaw in Antigone. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 May 2024].
Tragic Flaw in Antigone [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 06 [cited 2024 May 21]. Available from:
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