Tragic Heroes Antigone and Hamlet Aristotle once defined a concept of tragic hero, which should be a character with a flaw in personality or judgment that will lead this character to some actions resulting into disaster. In tragedies Hamlet by William Shakespeare, and in Sophocless Antigone main characters fit the concept of a tragic hero perfectly as they meet all of the requirements to be a tragic hero which are: a person of noble birth who occupies a powerful enough position to make choices which involve great numbers of people, decisions which can bring to entire catastrophe. Hamlet and Antigone also need to have a trait of goodness, but they cannot be perfect. These tragic heroes must possess some sort of flaw due to pride of a character and the destruction of each character is due to this flaw. The tragic hero must have a final moment of potential self-awareness, be a man of godlike prowess, and his goodness must come to be honored as divinity in death. The most important thing to realize about Hamlet is that it was written for the stage. In other words the play was meant to be acted out, and our attention needs to be on the fact that Hamlet will require a different kind of reading, a reading were you can imagine what is happening on stage. On the live stage there is activity and motion; there is facial gestures, positioning of the actors, the color of the costumes, and size of the weapons.
Truth or Flaw? In every play or book that a person reads the characters are never perfect. They always have a flaw that causes a problem or conflict within the storyline. This is true for Hamlet's character in William Shakespeare's Hamlet. In several of Hamlet's speeches he discloses many flaws in his character to the readers throughout the play. These are aspects that have thus far only been able ...
Things like this can only be seen if the play is read right, and to come across a play such as Hamlet in this type of reading is very important. It lets us see Shakespeares abilities as a dramatist, and also gives us a better visual understanding of the story. In Shakespeares Hamlet as well as in Antigone actions speak louder than words. Particularly in Shakespeares Hamlet, we see that words can just about say it all. In the tragedy it is possible for us to see how the character of Hamlet expresses his concerns and feelings towards other characters through soliloquies. Hamlets words or thoughts expressed as a soliloquy seems to take on a more deep meaningful role.
The point that is trying to be made to the readers is made more evident when it is spoken through the mouth of a strong willed character. One sees from the very beginning that Hamlet is a very complex and conflicted person, and that his tragedy has already begun. Hamlets anger and grief primarily stemming from his mothers marriage to Claudius brings him to thoughts of suicide, which only subside because of it being a mortal and religious sin. Usually Hamlet analyzes all possible situations too carefully, which eventually causes him to procrastinate. This delay in the judgment allows Claudius to escape the revenge and to plot the overcome of Hamlet. The fact that Hamlet wants to take his own life demonstrates a weakness in his character.
His decision not to kill himself because of religious beliefs shows that this weakness is balanced with some sense of morality. Such an obvious paradox is only one example of the inner conflict and turmoil that will eventually lead to Hamlets downfall. In addition to this internal struggle, Hamlet feels it is his duty to dethrone Claudius and become the King of Denmark. This revenge, he believes, would settle the score for his mothers incestuous relationship and would reinstate his familys honor. These thoughts are solidified in Act I, Scene 5, when his fathers ghost appears and informs Hamlet that is was Claudius who murdered him, and that Claudius deprived him of life, of crown, and queen (line 75).
This information leads to Hamlets promise to kill Claudius, while not punishing his mother for their incestuous marriage. His statement, thy commandment all alone shall live within the book and volume of my brain (lines 102 103), demonstrates his adamant decision to let nothing stand in the way of his promise for revenge. This promise can be labeled as Hamlets tragic decision, and sets into motion the beginning of his downfall.
... a Shakespearean Tragedy all the main characters must die to end the play, and Claudius and Hamlet end the play. Just as any critic, translator, ... Once it is revealed to Hamlet that Claudius is the murder of King Hamlet, Hamlet has sworn to get revenge in order to avenge the ... too ethical / noble a character to commit murder. Hamlet had no control of his future, and the situation that he was about to ...
There was a perfect opportunity for Hamlet to kill Claudius just as Claudius killed King Hamlet, but young Hamlet once again intellectualized the situation and lost sight of his goal allowing Claudius to slip farther away. The revenge Hamlet swore he would get was just a plan for the future until his chance arose. He was meeting his mother in her chambers as he passed Claudius’ room, where the King was praying. As he knelt, praying Hamlet walked up behind him undetected with the perfect chance to take revenge of his fathers death. However, Hamlet again postponed this step. According to Aristotles definition, tragic hero should have a final moment of potential self-awareness. Hamlets final moment of potential self-awareness comes in Act V Scene II.
Not a whit, we defy augury; theres a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, this notto come; if it be not to come, it will be now, if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all. Since no man has aught of what he leaves, what isnt to leave betimes? Let be (lines 218 222).
Hamlet finally comes to terms with death and just accepting the situation for what it is. Hamlet knows he will die and he readies himself for this situation. Another vivid example of this trait would be, when Hamlet prepares for his revenge.
Hamlet would analyze the situation as usually, and would worry about justice and major consequences, but when he readies himself for death, this does not bother him. The intelligence and wit that Hamlet was so respected for would unknowingly be the end of him. The drive for revenge that was originated by his father’s murder seemed to disappear by his exceeding careful movement and thoughtful postponement. Hamlet became too concerned with the things that might happen and lost sight of what needed to happen. The tragic end that Hamlet saw was only due to the character flaws that he had. Hamlet was a tragic hero, because of the tragic end that he brought upon himself. Antigone written by Sophocles is different from most other plays of this specific time. Antigone is a play that is in a trilogy with Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. In his play, Sophocles deals with topics such as rebellion, mutiny and pride.
Is Antigone a tragic play as defined by Aristotle? Antigone is not a tragic play. Rather it is a theological debate spawned by Sophocles, a debate that is still raging today, the debate of who holds the higher law, the Gods or the State. While this debate has slowly twisted into Church versus State, which is a very different argument, the highest questions still remain the same: Which one is held ...
The protagonist that drives this action is Antigone, daughter of Oedipus. Throughout reading the drama feelings of compassion for the characters are very much around but we never are really sure whether the drama is a tragedy or a just ending to mutiny and rebellion. In Antigone, the characters show a variety of traits. However, Antigones life of aspiration, family of noble rank, and display of good mentality portray her as the tragic hero of the story. A tragic hero must include three main traits. The hero must have a tragic flaw, a family of high class or rank, and must be a fundamentally good person.
Antigone fulfills all three traits painstakingly in the mythic story of Antigone. A tragic flaw plays a very imperative part of a tragic hero. Tragic flaw just like in Hamlet simply means a character weakness. The most common types of tragic flaws are unwarranted pride, ambition, and jealousy, which Hamlet and Antigone both possessed and which eventually caused their downfall. Usually the hero causes his own downfall and ultimately recognizes his own error and accepts the consequences. In Antigone, Antigone displays the tragic flaw of disproportionate ambition.
At the beginning of the story, Antigone and her sister, Ismene, are discussing the death of their brother, Polyneices. Creon, the king of Thebes, has issued a diktat that no one shall bury him, and that his body must lay in the fields as carrion for birds. The penalty for burying him is stoning in the public square. However, Antigone is objective on burying him. She remarks, Ismene, dear sister, you would think that we had already suffered enough for the curse of Oedipus. Antigone is full of tragic events that are quite touching especially when observing the play.
Ethical factors in Antigone and in Hamlet still are important in todays society. Basically ethical views, laws, and traditions in Antigone are somewhat those that people abide by today. Therefore, Sophocles tragedy Antigone allows us to see the various actors and factors displayed in a unique order. We can now see that Sophocles had quite a number of ideas that were incorporated in a sophisticated manner in this play. Antigones incest, Creons behaviorism, Ismene as a victim, multiple purposes of the chorus, and the ethics involved in the play have come forth and brought to our realization the many different aspects of analyzing such a classic. In order to become a tragic hero, the person has to be notorious for living a good life and not participating in vile acts. If a person has been a murderer or unswerving crimes, then he would not be deemed as a tragic hero to begin with.
Creon is the tragic hero in Sophocles' Antigone. In order to be a tragic hero the character must portray two main actions or traits. One is the character must make a decision that they believe is right because of a tragic flaw or tragic flaws and not foresee the consequences. Creon has a tragic flaw and makes the decision to sentence Antigone to death believing he is correct. Creon's tragic flaws ...
In Antigones plans to bury her brother, she uses her heart and aptitude well. She plans the burial of Polyneices well and listens closely to her sister. Although she does not agree with Ismene, she does listen closely to her arguments and contradictions. Sophocless Antigone contains much thought and opinion. Sophocles stresses the arguments and feelings of the entire characters will. However, Antigones life of aspiration, family of noble rank, and display of good mentality depict her as the tragic hero of the story. Even though Antigone and Hamlet were written in different periods of history, the themes of these two plays are quite similar.
It is not hard to see why Hamlet and Antigone are considered to be one of the greatest tragedies ever written. These plays appeal to people of all types and backgrounds; besides these two plays are very well structured that really show what geniuses Shakespeare and Sophocles were..