In the classic and modern versions of the mythic Antigone, tragedy strikes two different targets. In Sophocles it is Antigone who satisfies the Aristotelian conception of the tragic hero. For example, the tragic hero is someone who feels responsible for his/her actions and is conscious of ethical merits and demerits associated with them. What we also witness in Antigone is a dimension of the tragic hero engaged in praxis. In Aristotle’s conception of tragedy there is an underlying conflict between ‘absolute necessity’ and ‘freedom’. This is amply evident in crucial life events of Antigone, who, as the story progresses, is compelled to implement her own oblivion. For Aristotle, tragedy allows Greeks “to bear the unbearable contradiction that for thought would remain incomprehensible: ‘the attestation, even in the loss of freedom, of this same freedom’”. (Goretti 1306) In Gurney’s version, the earnest professor is the bearer of tragedy. It is he, who more than his fractious pupil who is ostracized for alleged Semitism.
Hence, in conclusion, the two authority figures in the two plays act with different motives and effects. In the case of Creon, he is villainous and is solely responsible for the grief he causes his Antigone. He is also the chief architect of his own demise. So his is an example of abuse of power as a result of narcissism. On the other hand, Henry Harper is an authority figure who is falsely maligned. Though he ends the same way as Creon, one cannot attribute the same quantum of guilt upon his shoulders. To this extent, even Ms. Judy Miller’s actions do not add up to her being Another Antigone.
- Botton, Alain De. “A Good Idea from … Aristotle.” The Independent (London, England)16 May 1999: 20.
- Disch, Thomas M. “Another Antigone.” The Nation6 Feb. 1988: 174.
- Diski, Jenny. “A Great Fall: How Tragedy Evolved from Oedipus to Kim Kardashian’s Cellulite and Amy Winehouse’s Struggles.” New Statesman (1996)28 Sept. 2012: 48+.
- Goretti, Giovanna Regazzoni. “The Legacy of Tragedy. the Tragic from Aristotle to Our Days.” International Journal of Psychoanalysis88 (2007): 1304+.