Comparative essay between Adela from The house of Bernarda Alba and Antigone from Antigone

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Comparative essay between Adela from “The house of

Bernarda Alba” and Antigone from “Antigone”

In both “Antigone” and “The house of Bernarda Alba”, Antigone and Adela are displayed as modern tragic heroine, since Federico Lorca and Jean Anouilh supply them both with the characteristics of a modern tragic hero. These characteristics include a tragic flaw (which leads to their downfalls), noble backgrounds or origins, their suffering in isolation and a moment of recognition. Both writers use female heroine to convey the struggle between individuality and conventional society, however both writers use different styles in writing in order to differentiate between both characters and what they represent.

A tragic flaw is one of the four major characteristics of a tragic hero. Both Adela and Antigone suffered from embroidered pride which eventually leads to both their downfalls. Adela’s exaggerated pride is shown on page 21 when she gives Bernarda a coloured fan instead of a black one, Adela’s exaggerated pride is also revealed on page 55 when she claims that she will not be shut away from the community because of her mother and says her body will be for whoever she pleases, another example of Adela’s embroidered pride is on page 39 when she wears the green dress intended for her birthday and refuses to take it off and again when she claims she doesn’t want to grow old and lonely like her sisters. Antigone’s overstated pride is shown on pages 49-50 when Antigone is depicted by Jean Anouilh as a person of freedom. Antigone’s overstated pride is also revealed on page 26 when she declares her love for Haemon and insists on marrying him and it is also revealed in the dialogue between Antigone and Creon on pages 49-50. In both cases the downfalls of these female heroine were their deaths whether by suicide or through conviction to death.

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A tragic hero/heroine usually goes through a moment of recognition also known as the epiphany that enlightens both him/her as well as the audience. Most of the time this moment of recognition is accompanied by feelings of regret and redemption, for instance in “Antigone” towards the end of the text Antigone reflects doubt towards her principles. On the other hand Adela receives no moment of recognition.

Another characteristic of a tragic hero is that they suffer in isolation. Antigone is shown sympathy (in Creon’s attempt to prevent her death) however on the other hand Adela is ...

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