“A tragedy is that moment where the hero comes face to face with his true identity” Aristotle According to Aristotle’s theory of a tragic hero, a tragic hero begins his/her journey with a rise to fame, has a tragic flaw, and that tragic flaw leads to the downfall. As Achebe’s historical drama novel, Things Fall Apart, unfolds it becomes evident that the novel’s protagonist, Okonkwo is a tragic hero through three typical traits: Okonkwo’s high stature, his tragic flaw of having the fear of being a failure, and a resulting downfall Okonkwo accords with Aristotle’s theory of tragic hero because of having a high stature. Even though Okonkwo was not of noble birth, he makes way through the ranks by acquiring multiple titles through his hard work. He starts his journey by achieving fame as a strong wrestler, as, at the age of 18 “he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat”, a great wrestler who unbeatable for seven years. “He [Okonkwo] did not have the start in life which many young men usually had.
Therefore, Okonkwo is a tragic hero. In conclusion, Okonkwo suits Aristotle 's definition of a tragic hero. This character has many tragic flaws, fear of weakness, hubris, and his work ethic, which in the end lead to his death, which provokes pity and fear into the audience. The character becomes noble and is a great leader overall in the story. In the end, Chinua Achebe has givens us a very expressive character that we can call a tragic
Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Literary Analysis “Okonkwo was deeply grieved. And it was just not personal grief. He mourned for the clan, which he saw breaking up and falling apart, and he mourned for the warlike men of Umuofia, who had so unaccountably become soft like women,” (Achebe 183). This quote is referring to the immense disappointment the clan has caused Okonkwo to endure. When Okonkwo was first exiled for seven years, he expected to return himself to the same clan he had been forced to leave.
He lived the rest of his life in nightmares and fears which denounced his actions. He realized how unscrupulous his actions were and his souls is long huanted by it. After the murder, he does not dare to put the dagger back. We could see, from this point, The warrior and Duncan’s “worthiest cousin” (1.4.15) is so terrified by his own action that a sound would scare him. While he is haunted by guilt, Macbeth has to secure his throne by murdering Banquo and Fleance.
The story of Job -- the just man who, without any fault of his own, is tried by innumerable sufferings -- is well known. He loses his possessions, his sons and daughters, and finally he himself is afflicted by a grave sickness. Three old acquaintances come to his house. Each one tries to convince him that because he has been struck down by such varied and terrible sufferings he must have done something seriously wrong. In their eyes, suffering can have a meaning only as a punishment for sin.
Even the title "tragic hero" sounds melodramatic. According to Aristotle, a tragic hero should have a certain traits. He decided that they should be pitied, they should disrespect the natural order, reverse their fate, have a tragic flaw, make an important discovery, and be put in an unavoidable situation (Meirow). In the book, The Great Gatsby, while Jay Gatsby is frantically searching for the American Dream, he displays each of the previous traits. His tragic flaw ends up killing him, affecting those close to him.
At Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross grange, Heathcliff does not fit in. Since he was taken in as a young boy by Mr. Earnshaw, he has been alienated and treated unjustly by almost everyone. One of the characters that resented Heathcliff from the beginning was Hindley. Hindley treated Heathcliff with no respect and constantly degraded him, “He [Hindley] has been blaming our father for treating Heathcliff too liberally; and swears he will reduce him to his right place” (Brontë 30). After some time of being ridiculed by his so called “brother,” Heathcliff seeks justice for himself by taking revenge on Hindley and plotting to ruin his life, “I’m trying to settle how I shall pay Hindley back.
I implore them with my eyes: Speak to me –take me up –take me, Life of my Youth…A terrible feeling of foreignness suddenly rises up in me, I cannot find my way back” (Remarque, 272). This only compounds his alienation from civilian life, nothing was the same, he was away from the trenches, but still lay in them. All that Paul knew and loved before had become useless to him, none is needed in battle, therefore was forgotten. Remarque invokes an end for Paul in chapter 12 of the novel, he, the last soldier alive out of his troop of seven men. Germany became desperate and revolts as the war comes to an end.
The tragic hero is a character whose tribulation comes unwanted, but also by some error in judgment. This judgment error leads to characters own downfall. Aristotle has said that “A man doesn’t become a hero until he can see the root of his own destruction” (Carli 2015). Most of histories early plays were written as either a tragedy or comedy. In tragic plays, the unlikely hero will do something that will kill the character.
Because Okonkwo fits four out of the five criteria of a tragic hero, he is a tragic hero. Because he was a successful leader and farmer and he earned this success without any help, Okonkwo is better than ourselves. According to the book, Okonkwo “neither inherited a barn nor a title, nor even a young wife.” (18) Despite the fact that he came from a failure of a father, Okonkwo managed to become wealthy and successful. Because of his anger, and his fear of being thought weak, Okonkwo was vulnerable. His anger made him do things without thinking, which could end up harming him.