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 I've been looking for this all over the place: what is Antigone's tragic
flaw?!?  The way I see it, Oedipus's is his pride.  He seems totally bent on
finding out the truth and refuses to listen to other people's advise to let
it rest.  Creon's is also pride (am I right here?).  He's so convinced that
he's right that he stops listening to anybody opposing him.  I think that
Antigone's is maybe pride, but I'm not sure.  I'd really appreciate if you
would help me out, give me a hint, anything!  Thanks a lot!!

People always think that because Aristotle said a tragic hero's downfall should be due to a "tragic flaw" (hamartia), and Aristotle admired King Oedipus above all tragedies, therefore Oedipus must have a "flaw". [This is a false premise under Aristotle's very own logic.]

And so they have struggled to find one!
Could it have been his bad temper? (No, he was quite justified in his rage at Creon and Tiresias, having good reasons to suspect them of plotting against him)
Could it have been his murderous temperament, in killing an old man in a chariot? (No, he had good reason once more, and any Greek would have criticised him for NOT killing the irritating old boy)
Could Laius have been under divine protection as he was going to Delphi? The hamartia would then be killing a divinely protected person (Nothing in the text to indicate this)
Could it have been his carelessness - surely anyone told about killing his father and sleeping with his mother would have avoided killing ANY man and sleeping with ANY woman? (No - Oedipus knew who his parents were - as he thought, and took all reasonable precautions to avoid "accidentally" doing deeds which no sane person could imagine himself doing anyway)
Could it have been his pride and arrogance - fuelled by his success with the Sphinx? (no - he includes himself in the curse he made, and is more than anxious to find the truth)
Could it have been his fatal curiosity, inquiring into matters best left unexplored? (Surely not - neither Greeks of 5th century BC nor ourselves would have seen this as a fault - "the truth is out there". The truth may be unpalatable or dangerous, but it is better than ignorance).

Concusion? Forget Aristotle - a scientist trying to find a scientific analysis for the unanalysable. How many plays actually conform to his rules? Only King Oedipus comes near - and not even that has a tragic hero with a tragic flaw!   

I wrote this a while ago to someone asking about Oedipus' flaw: the same applies to Creon and Antigone. The whole business of "tragic flaws" is something that English and Drama teachers have got hold of from some book they read when they were students - no one these days who has actually studied Greek tragedy believes there is any such thing. Do you worry about tragic flaws when you see a movie? Of course not - there are more important things (which Aristotle correctly identified) - plot and character. Each character in tragedy is unique, and the reasons for their suffering are unique to them. Read Antigone again trying to find her uniqueness, and you'll start to understand the reasons why we feel for her.  

Well done for not being able to find the flaw in Antigone, then - the reason is there is none!  


PS No Greek would understand "pride" as a flaw! Just as in Black Pride or Gay Pride - the Greeks saw pride as a positive thing. The nearest is hybris - which means believing you are free to abuse those weaker than yourself (ie behaving like a god!).