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Theresa Long
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Tragic Hero Essay Conclusion

A tragic hero is a type of character in a tragedy, and is usually the protagonist. Tragic heroes typically have heroic traits that earn them the sympathy of the audience, but also have flaws or make mistakes that ultimately lead to their own downfall. In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is a tragic hero. His reckless passion in love, which makes him a compelling character, also leads directly to the tragedy of his death.

tragic hero essay conclusion

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle was the first to define a "tragic hero." He believed that a good tragedy must evoke feelings of fear and pity in the audience, since he saw these two emotions as being fundamental to the experience of catharsis (the process of releasing strong or pent-up emotions through art). As Aristotle puts it, when the tragic hero meets his demise, "pity is aroused by unmerited misfortune, fear by the misfortune of a man like ourselves."

To sum up: Aristotle defined a tragic hero rather strictly as a man of noble birth with heroic qualities whose fortunes change due to a tragic flaw or mistake (often emerging from the character's own heroic qualities) that ultimately brings about the tragic hero's terrible, excessive downfall.

Oedipus has all the important features of a classical tragic hero. Throughout the drama, he tries to do what is right and just, but because of his tragic flaw (hubris) he believes he can avoid the fate given to him by the prophet, and as a result he brings about his own downfall.

Willy is a modern tragic hero. He's a good person who means well, but he's also deeply flawed, and his obsession with a certain idea of success, as well as his determination to provide for his family, ultimately lead to his tragic death.

Tragic heroes appear all over important literary works. With time, Aristotle's strict definition for what makes a tragic hero has changed, but the tragic hero's fundamental ability to elicit sympathy from an audience has remained.

While Javert fits the model of a tragic hero in many ways, he's an unconventional tragic hero because he's an antagonist rather than the protagonist of the novel (Valjean is the protagonist). One might then argue that Javert is a "tragic figure" or "tragic character" rather than a "tragic hero" because he's not actually the "hero" of the novel at all. He's a useful example, though, because he shows just how flexible the idea of a "tragic hero" can be, and how writers play with those ideas to create new sorts of characters.

Besides this, tragic heroes serve many functions in the stories in which they appear. Their tragic flaws make them more relatable to an audience, especially as compared to a more conventional hero, who might appear too perfect to actually resemble real people or draw an emotional response from the audience. Aristotle believed that by watching a tragic hero's downfall, an audience would become wiser when making choices in their own lives. Furthermore, tragic heroes can illustrate moral ambiguity, since a seemingly desirable trait (such as innocence or ambition) can suddenly become a character's greatest weakness, bringing about grave misfortune or even death.

Macbeth fits the role of a tragic hero because he is born to nobility, and he has good character. But his fatal flaw, his ambition, leads to his death at the end of the play. It also pushes him to commit many atrocities, including murder, as he falls deeper and deeper into darkness. Some characteristics of the character are not perfect examples of tragic heroes, but overall, he fits this archetype.

In Greek literature, Aristotle defined the tragic hero as someone whose mistakes or errors in judgment were the ultimate cause of their downfall. Other components of the tragic hero literary archetype are:

In the play Macbeth, the main character fulfills some of the characteristics of the tragic hero. Looking more closely at these will help you decide whether or not you believe that Macbeth is a tragic hero.

One of the characteristics of the tragic hero is being of noble background, and Macbeth fits this profile well. He starts the play as the Thane of Glamis and quickly becomes the Thane of Cawdor. From the very beginning of the play, he is in a leadership role.

Similarly, at the start of the play, he seems to be a nice man and a military hero. Until he meets the three witches, he also appears to be loyal to his king. The classic tragic hero will start as a pleasant character until the tragic flaw takes over. in this way, Macbeth fits the archetype.

To be a tragic hero, the audience must develop feelings of fear or pity for the character, which often occurs in Macbeth. At the start of the play, he seems to be an honest man of noble character. The play describes how he killed McDonald, a traitor, which could cause the audience to view him as a hero.

That said, this is one area where Macbeth is not quite as clear a fit for the definition of a tragic hero. While some audience members may feel pity and fear, others will detest his fall from power and his poor character throughout the play.

Another component of a tragic hero is the errors in judgment that cause evil actions. As Macbeth pursues his desire for the throne, pushed toward that desire by the prophecy of the three witches and various other apparitions that encourage him, he commits many crimes.

In addition, his tragic flaw of ambition and desire to keep his power dos not become evident until the play is well underway. Their tragic characteristic is present in most tragic heroes from the very beginning.

Another reason some claim Macbeth is not a tragic hero is that the play shows little to indicate he has heroic tendencies. While it shows he is a good soldier, his descent into madness starts fairly early in the play, and thus he does not have much time to show his good character.

Some literary analysts state that the character of Macbeth does not evoke much pity. When he dies at the end, you do not experience catharsis but rather a sense of justice. His ruthlessness makes it hard to pity the character, which is an essential part of the idea of a tragic hero.

This question is probably one that literary analysts will continue to debate. However, one thing is clear: Macbeth is not a perfect example of a tragic hero, but he does display many of the characteristics.

The story of Okonkwo is sad in its tragedy and it sends us a serious message through the colonization of the tribes and the uprooting of their ways of life. Okonkwo tried very hard to bring happiness and a good work ethic to his family but in the end all he could bring was sadness and disillusionment at the act he commit. Okonkwo may have hit his wives and beat his children and alienated his eldest son by killing his best friend and, pretty much, adopted brother but he also brought a very conservative outlook to things. He played by all the rules his father did not, he struggled in life to get to where he ended up in the end, and for what, he died in the end because of a tyrannical society oppressing their way of life and their religion. Is there anything more tragic than reaching for the stars and getting shot down by someone else because of their selfish ambitions?In conclusion Okonkwo is a tragic hero because he was a man of stature in his society and he fell from a high place because of his pride and violent nature. Okonkwo is not so different from many other tragic heroes from plays and books past, such as Macbeth. Both characters achieved much in their lives but a painfully obvious flaw in them caused them to fall to nothingness and die. Okonkwo committed suicide because he could not stand to see his village in the shambles he came back to see it in and because his own pride would not allow him to run away or allow himself to be taken by the white people to their base-of-operations to be hung. In jail Okonkwo received scars from the court messengers beating him, and not even his pride allowed him to retaliate more than killing one man. Okonkwo is truly a tragic hero and his story is one of sadness and of loss. Share this:FacebookFacebook logoTwitterTwitter logoRedditReddit logoLinkedInLinkedIn logoWhatsAppWhatsApp logo Cite This WorkTo export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

The story of Medea has is often debated by modern scholars, to which they are trying to assign who is the true tragic hero in the story. Greek audiences used to conclude that Jason was the tragic hero. However, now it is argued that Madea better demonstrates the real tragic hero in the story.

The term hero is obtained from a Greek word that means a person who faces misfortune, or displays courage in the face of danger. Tragedy is defined as the sudden and catastrophic fall of a great person from fortune to misfortune. When a hero faces this downfall, they are recognized as a tragic hero or a protagonist. However, there is more to a tragic hero than just confronting a downfall, there are also a few distinct characteristics that come with being a tragic hero as well. As described by Aristotle, the characteristics of a tragic hero are hamartia, peripeteia, anagnorisis, and catharsis. Every tragic hero has a hamartia, which is a tragic flaw that causes the downfall of a hero. Peripeteia is the reversal of fate that the hero experiences. Anagnorisis is known as a moment in time when the hero makes an important discovery in the story. And finally, catharsis, which is feelings of pity and fear felt by the audience, for the inevitable downfall of the protagonist. Our writers can help you with any type of essay. For any subject Get your price How it works

Even though Medea was written by Euripides and not Aristotle, the great author of dramas, the story still shows great signs illustrating that Medea should, in fact, be considered a tragic hero. Although Medea does defy one main thing, she is a woman. In Greek literature, it is believed that female characters cannot be heroes, which is why the Greek audience determined Jason to be the tragic hero of the story of Medea. However, not speaking on terms of gender roles in Greek literature, Medea does, in fact, fit almost perfectly into the mold of characteristics that a tragic hero has.


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