Antigone as a Tragic Hero

It is not often in Greek myth or tragedy that a woman is found portrayed as a tragic hero. However, Sophocles makes the hero of his Antigone, the third and last play in the theme of Oedipus' life, a woman. And though this is out of context for a Greek play, it is still considered one of the greatest Greek tragedies ever to have been written. The tragic hero of this drama is Antigone, the character from which the play derives its title. This is shown by the fact that not only is she the protagonist of the play, but she also holds certain qualities of a tragic hero. What seems to be least important in determining the tragic hero of this play, in fact, is whether or not the hero is male or female, which is surprising due to the misogynistic tendencies of most Greek stories. What are most important are the three major characteristics concerning the make up of a tragic hero. First, it is important that the hero must be of noble descent. Second, the hero must be judged by the audience (whose opinion generally rests on the opinion of the Chorus) to be a good and just person. And third, the hero must have a tragic flaw; without it there would be no dramatic complications or tragic consequences. Antigone does, in fact, have all...

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