Ethan Frome's Hamlet As A Tragic Hero

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Ethan Frome from the book Ethan Frome fits the description of a tragic hero, but only in some aspects. In most aspects, Ethan more closely fits the description of a pathetic coward. Ethan Frome does have a reversal of fortune because of his error in judgement, but Ethan is not hubris, nor is his fate greater than he deserved. Conversely, Hamlet does fit the mold of a tragic hero well. He had a flaw of judgement in deciding to avenge his father, his fortune is reversed from a wealthy prince to a dead man, Hamlet does realize he brought about his own fate, he does have excessive pride, and his fate is the worst kind of fate; death. Although Hamlet is a tragic hero, he is also a pathetic coward, choosing to accept his father’s request and to avoid…show more content…
Tragic heroes should be neither better or worse morally than normal people so that the audience can relate to the character. By relating the character to the audience, the audience can feel sympathetic towards the character, making the fate that is greater than deserved more emotionally painful to the reader. Tragic heroes are interesting because they are created to strike pity from the audience. A balanced tragic hero is especially interesting because the hero is not perfect or imperfect, which paradoxically strikes pity from the audience as well as leaving the audience feeling like the tragic hero got what he deserved. The tragic hero makes what seems to be absurd mistakes, which makes the audience think that the hero deserves his fate, but the hero also lost everything, which strikes pity from the audience. In the novel Ethan Frome, the audience feels empathy towards Ethan because of the very serious decisions he has to make; leave Zeena and be with Mattie or to stay with Zeena. The audience conversely condemns him for his decision in “the smash-up”. The two conflicting emotions of condemnation and empathy makes the novel more interesting and teaches the audience that our decisions influence our fate, which is taught in all tragic hero
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