Theme Of Ambition In Things Fall Apart

2049 Words9 Pages
Ambition Kills Alfred Tennyson, a British poet, once wrote, “Ambition is like the sea wave, which the more you drink the more you thirst… it drives you mad.” This idea can be represented by the overwhelming ambition experienced by many tragic heroes as their overwhelming flaw. In tragedies, the slow loss of control is what leads to the downfall of the hero. As the plots progress, the characters seem less and less like the true heroes that are dreamed of. Medea by Euripides, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, and The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare explore aspect of hamartia in tragedies through the development of hamartia in their main characters. All three works support the idea that unregulated ambition and ego ultimately lead to failure. One aspect of hamartia is the most prevalent tragic flaw that all tragic characters possess. In Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe develops excessive pride in the main character, Okonkwo. Okonkwo’s pride is mainly connected to his upbringing as a whole. However, his pride became more…show more content…
He was afraid of being thought weak” (p. 61). The author’s use of short, concise sentences provides the effect of making Okonkwo’s actions seeming more defined. The phrases used show just how little thought went into his immediate decision, which displays Okonkwo negatively. In order to assert his hierarchical dominance among other members of the clan, he kills Ikemefuna, a boy that he had treated like one of his own. Moreover, phrases such as “cut” and “machete” are used in order to disseminate fear within the reader. Yet, the reader still feels a level of pity for Okonkwo. The pity is not only because of his tribe being whittled away to nothing, but also for the reality of what Okonkwo has become. His hamartia has consumed him up to the point where he is led to kill those closest to him without the slightest hint of

More about Theme Of Ambition In Things Fall Apart

Open Document