How far do Creon and Antigone fit Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero.

Essay by killerkangaroosHigh School, 12th grade April 2003

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How far do Creon and Antigone fit Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero?

Aristotle defined a tragic hero as: -

"The intermediate sort of person, one whop is not pre-eminently virtuous and just, one who incurs misfortune not as a result of vice

and depravity, but by some error of judgement while enjoying

great reputation and prosperity"

and Creon and Antigone are the characters that could fit this definition best.

Aristotle first of all suggests that a tragic hero must be someone of high stature and status. Antigone is someone who is part of the royal family of Thebes. She occupies a position of aristocracy and to an extent represents nobility. Furthermore the person must be a person that embodies virtue and decency according to Aristotle. From the beginning of the play Antigone earns the respect of the audience, she shows bravery and a high sense of family duty towards her brothers "will you lift up the body with these bare hands and lower it with me".

Antigone has made up her mind about her decision, she is single minded and firm in how she will handle her problems. She will not compromise the notion of one of her brothers not receiving their burial rights, "he has no right to keep me form my own".

Antigone however displays an unyielding single-minded attribute to her character and is fully aware if the consequences she could suffer. As her sister defies her wishes she disregards her despite the sound advice that Ismene gives her, "Why rush to extremes? Its madness, madness". But instead Antigone would prefer to be like a martyr, "death will be a glory", she sees the higher moral good in her actions " I have longer to please the dead than please the living here". Antigone is looking at...