Heroine Or Victim Of Pride Heroism is defined by cause. Bravery is a factor, however, it depends on what one is putting oneself out on a limb for that makes one a hero. It is not enough to be brave. Antigones character has many different layers. In some respects, she is a heroine, but in others, she is merely a victim of her own pride. At the beginning of the play, the chorus describes Antigone as a little helpless creature that keeps to herself, and is in the shadow of her beautiful sister, Ismene.
They describe Antigone as: That thin little creature sitting by herself, staring straight ahead, seeing nothing. . . She seems to be small, helpless and fragile, but just when you think that she is helpless, she unfurls herself as a clever and very brave young lady. As Antigone returns from burying her brother, Polynices, she appears dreamy-eyed and playful.
She seems to be an innocent young girl who is just opening her eyes to the beauty of the world: It was beautiful. The whole world was gray when I went out. An now-you wouldnt recognize it. Its like a post card: all pink and green, and yellow. Unfortunately, she soon finds out the worlds wickedness as well. She seems to come to the realization that her life would soon end, so, she begins to prepare for the worst, being death, and almost welcome it: There! Im not afraid any more. Not afraid of the wicked ogre, nor of the sandman, nor of the dwarf who steals little children. Haemon is another factor of Antigones wavering emotional state. When Haemon first comes into the play, Antigone apologizes to him for her actions the night before.
She apparently had dressed herself up as her sister Ismene would have. She was glamorous and bold. She explains in the following lines: I wasnt very sure that you loved me as a woman; and I did it -because I wanted you to want me. Now she is seen as the innocent tomboyish Antigone again. The couple had also quarreled that night, and Antigone blames herself. Haemon assures her that a happy love is full of quarrels, but Antigone isnt convinced.
She knows that they do not have much more time together, so, she begins to sorrowfully think of the life and the children that they could have had together: You know the little boy we were going to have when we were married? Id have protected him against everything in the world. Our little boy, Haemon! You do believe me dont you? Her emotional instability is a result of her inevitable death. The reader is confused, as well as Haemon, but soon, all is revealed. Yet another side of Antigone is revealed as soon as she is brought in to Creon. She proudly admits that she is the traitor that buried Polynices, and her bravery is displayed through her defiance of her uncle and the refusal of all his offers to save her life. Antigone believes that she did the right thing because of her belief that if she didnt bury her brother, his spirit would never rest in the here-after: Those who are not buried wander eternally and find no rest. I owe it to him to unlock the house of the dead in which my father and my mother are waiting to welcome him. Polynices had earned his rest.
Her stubbornness continues despite Creons explanation of a brother that Antigone never knew. Creon describes Antigones brothers, Polynices and Etocles, as deviant young traitors to Thebes and their father. Finally, after the truth is revealed, Antigones hope is distorted. Like any young heroine, Antigone needed something to believe in, and now that it is gone, she is left with nothing except regret and pain. Yet she still resists life. Creon tells her that her father has polluted her with his stubborness and pride.
She responds defiantly: In my fathers own voice, yes! WE are of the tribe that asks questions, and we ask them to the bitter end. Until no tinest chance of hope remains to be stangled by our hands. We are of the tribe that hates your filthy hope, your docile, female hope; hope, your whore. She doesnt understand Creons responsibility to his kingdom and to Thebes. She only believes what is in her heart and she acts upon it.
Her hope has been crushed by Creon, and shes not about to let him get away with it. Creon tells her to find happiness in her marriage with Haemon, and to forget all of her spirit. She cannot submit: What kind of happiness do you foresee for me? Paint me the picture of your happy Antigone. Whatare the unimportant little sins that I shall have to commit before I am allowed to sink my teeth into life and tear happiness from it? To whom must I sell myself? Antigone doesnt sell herself. She would rather die than to try to live in a fake life of artificial happiness.
She chooses death, and nothing could convince her to live. In the end, Antigone dies as herself. She didnt become someone that she isnt, and she didnt sell out. Is that the course of a true hero? Antigone is many different things: innocent, confused, proud, and above all, she is heroic. A true hero remains true to themselves to the bitter end, and Antigone did just that.