An Unorthodox

In: English and Literature

Submitted By gbp623
Words 1129
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An Unorthodox Protagonist
In Antigone, a drama written by the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles, the question of who the protagonist of the play is may be easily confused. It is a highly disputed topic concerning exactly which character plays the role of the protagonist, Antigone or Creon. In order to decide which character possesses the merits to be considered the true protagonist, one has to consider: what is the definition of protagonist? Is it simply the title character, or the most relatable or sympathetic character, or are there other qualifications? Greek tradition holds a variation of the definition that has stumped critics and has divided them over which character is best suited for the leading role. The self-realization and recognition of one’s mistakes is also one of the credentials, and with further examination, Creon emerges as being best suited for the role of the protagonist.
We derive our definition of a Greek tragedy from Aristotle, who originated that definition on the basis of plays from his time, such as Antigone. Greek tradition defines the dramatic protagonist as one who is regarded as extraordinary, and is brought from happiness to agony. “The character’s stature is important because it makes his or her fall all the more terrifying” (Meyer 1423). From this basic definition, Aristotle went on to include that the protagonist is the main character that possesses a tragic flaw, and later realizes his or her own faults and mistakes. Aristotle used “hamartia” as the term for these weaknesses (Meyer 1424).
Based on these definitions, Antigone and Creon both have the potential to be qualified as protagonist. They both battle forcefully for something that they believe strongly in. In Antigone's case, she fights for the honorable burial of her brother. She does this because she considers the laws of the gods to be greater than the edict laid down by…...

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