A tragic hero is a character who has the potential to have heroic qualities, but their fate is a tragic downfall. Aristotle defined a tragic hero as “a person who must evoke a sense of pity and fear in the audience. He is considered a man of misfortune that comes to him through error of judgment”. Some tragic heroes in literature are John Proctor in The Crucible and Macbeth in the play Macbeth. It is possible for two characters to be labeled a tragic hero, but the audience can feel differently about them.
A tragic hero must have a moment in time to discover an important element in the story. A tragic hero goes through a punishment that they can’t avoid, which is caused by their hubris. The last thing that a tragic hero must have is a catharsis, a feeling of pity felt by the readers for the demise of the tragic hero. Like previously stated, Beowulf follows the criteria of a tragic hero. Beowulf has a tragic flaw
Despite committing a number of abhorrent crimes, Macbeth’s morality is definitively ambiguous, or “grey,” “because he is so acutely aware of the horror of his crimes” (Charney). Even before his transgressions take place, Macbeth is aware of the “physiological and psychological” consequences the murder will have on him, “forsee[ing] the effects” of his wrongdoings with rightfully placed apprehension (Charney). This sorrowful character is not the one first introduced to the audience, as Macbeth is depicted as an exalted hero in Duncan’s army; however, though his visage morphs into one of a tyrant. During his metamorphosis into seemingly amoral ruler, Macbeth does not take pleasure in the carnage he inspires, contributing to the adversity faced through his remorse. Conversely, Macduff, who may be considered the protagonist by some, is not presented as wholly virtuous.
As well as that, Shakespeare uses imagery to show deception. This can be seen in the quote of "To know my deed, 'twere best not know myself." In this quote, it moulds a sense that the character, Macbeth, has betrayed himself, his pride and his ego along with those around him. Moreover, Macbeth states that to acknowledge the awful crimes he has been committing, he would be unsure of his own actions and thoughts, therefore this shows that he has changed dramatically from the previous scenes when he tried to convince himself he has no reasons and motivations to kill Duncan. In the wording of "deed" suggests that Macbeth is still trying to deceive himself that this is something he must accomplish.
According to Aristotle a tragic hero should have a hamartia, or tragic flaw that evokes emotions from the audience. He also said that a tragic hero should go through a peripeteia, or reversal of luck, and anagnorisis, a realization, due to this tragic flaw. After reading Antigone you can see that Creon fits every one of these categories. However, Antigone doesn’t experience the realization that she had detrimental flaws, or an anagnorisis. Overall, it is much more logical to say that Creon is who Sophocles intended to be the tragic hero of this
I am writing this essay to deal with the question how and why is Hamlet regarded as Shakespeare’s most compelling tragic hero. First of all, I am going to define a tragic hero. Afterwards, I would like to outline my opinion towards this question. According to Aristotle a hero of a tragedy must awake in the audience a feeling of pity or fear. Besides this, the hero must come from a princely family or from nobility.
Macbeth, the character, provides a perfect example of how even an honorable person can become corrupt when this desire is not regulated. While Macbeth is loyal and compassionate at the beginning of the play, he turns into a crazed lunatic by the end, simply because he chose to pursue power the wrong
The Protagonist character is most times the main character and the antagonist character is at most times the one who is against the main character. Macbeth can be seen as both in the play. I believe Macbeth to be a good person, but because of the environment that he is in and he people that influence his life he, later on, becomes a bad person. Macbeth can be seen as a protagonist because of his tragic flaw, Macbeth 's ambition is his own flaw. This is seen in Act I, scene 4, when Macbeth questions killing King Duncan: "Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires.”Another attribute of a protagonist is having nobility and has greatness.This is very evident in the play.
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
This backstory almost always displays the tragic flaw / hamartia that the hero suffers. A Tragic Flaw, strictly speaking, is one or more character flaws (also known as hamartia) that lead to this character’s demise. It must be noted, however, that the flaw only seems to put this character into the hands of fate, and it is ultimately fate that sends them over the edge of despair. This backstory, which gets people to relate to the character also helps them to see this flaw and notice it in themselves and others, so that they may save themselves from it. In Oedipus’ case, the tragic flaw is that of hubris, or being too confident in one’s own abilities.