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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: March ::
Re: Tragic Hero
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0691  Wednesday, 21 March 2001

From:           Paul E. Doniger <
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Date:           Tuesday, 20 Mar 2001 19:58:39 -0800
Subject:        Re: Tragic Hero

Mari Bonomi, in responding to my comment "that Julius Caesar is really
about Brutus, despite its title"  added that "Shakespeare is in good
company: the play we call Antigone today is the tragedy of Creon, not of
Antigone... but I guess "Creon's Downfall" doesn't cut it as a title
either <wry smile>."

I have to admit to being somewhat ambivalent on this question. I
generally think of Antigone as the "tragic hero(ine)," rather than
Creon; however, I do sometimes think that perhaps I am wrong after all
(especially when I look at Anouilh's version of the play. Then again, I
find myself turning back to Antigone, who does suffer death for her
"failure" to compromise her principles (in the original, a religious
principle). Perhaps it is a play with two tragic heroes. Perhaps the
real hero is an idea: the courage of one's convictions, or some such
thing.

Is there anything like this in Shakespeare? I can't think of a play,
outside perhaps _Anthony & Cleopatra_ with two tragic heroes.

Paul E. Doniger
 

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