|t h e c l a s s i c s p a g e s l e t t e r s|
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!
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!).