This furthers the notion that Oedipus’ hamartia is his hubris as a hero’s hamartia is often something that serves as their greatest strength in moderation but their downfall in excess. Oedipus’ confidence in his reason and his charisma derived from self-confidence attracts the support of the Thebans. However, in excess, Oedipus’ pride leads him uncover the devastating truth of his identity and effects the wrath of the gods. Oedipus’ flawed nature is crucial to the development of catharsis as it his flaws that make Oedipus relatable to the audience so that they may become attached to him. Should Oedipus, be too ‘perfect’ the audience would not be able to find themselves in him and thus would not be able to learn from him, which would contradict the purpose of a tragedy according to Aristotle.
Othello is presented as a respectful and honorable prince loved by all, but unexpectedly he grows an enemy, Iago. Iago vows to get vengeance on Othello because Othello made Cassio his lieutenant instead of Iago. Iago then takes control of fate in the play as he diabolically invents a plan to manipulate Othello into believing that Desdeomona was having an affair with Cassio. Furthermore, Othello’s tragic flaw was that he was gullible, therefore eventhough Othello was infatuated with Desdemona he chose to believe in Iago’s lies about Desdemona’s “affair”. For example, throughout the entire play, Othello committed irrational actions voluntarily because he was overtaken by jealousy that Iago developed with lies.
Macbeth: Why He is a Tragic Hero Exactly what is a tragic hero? A tragic hero, according to Aristotle, is a literary character who makes a judgement error that leads them to his/her own destruction. They have been further described as an imperfect someone who has noble status who caused their own downfall. They are also known to gather sympathy from the audiences and readers. In the story of Macbeth, the protagonist is seen to have all the characteristics of a tragic hero.
The author uses Othello’s death to show all of the events that have led to this dramatic disaster. Shakespeare also uses Othello’s death to portray the theme of the power of vengeance. The idea that Desdemona would betray him hurt him deeply, but once Othello realizes he has killed her in vain he cannot live with the pain. After Othello’s death Cassio reminds bystanders that Othello is “full of heart” meaning he embodies love and kindness (V.ii. 776).
Aristotle’s version of a tragic hero is a person who makes judgement mistakes which causes his or her own downfall. In the play Macbeth written by Shakespeare, the main character Macbeth is an example of Aristotle’s description of a tragic hero. Macbeth fits the definition of an Aristotelian tragic hero by his nobility turning into excessive pride due to his felonious actions, but after his fall from grace he becomes conscious of his lost virtue and he begins to regain his integrity. Macbeth originally appears as a noble and valiant war hero in the beginning of the play. Macbeth was portrayed as an extremely loyal and brave soldier who would risk his life for King Duncan at first.
Aristotle defines a tragic hero to be a man with outstanding greatness, but cursed with a tragic flaw. Tragic heroes have typically been linked to tragedies and two excellent examples of tragic heroes are: Oedipus Rex and Othello. In Othello by William Shakespeare, Othello is driven to his end by his irrational actions, and fate. Sophocles also presents his work Oedipus Rex to tell the pitiful story of Oedipus who was condemned by gods to a terrible fate. In both dramas, William Shakespeare and Sophocles presented tragic heroes that were led to their downfalls by the power of fate, and the consequences of their freewill actions.
Iago let his vengeful ways and deceitful motives alter his decisions while Othello appears in the opening acts as the very personification of self control”(Harbage). The two characters are meant to balance each other out, but Iago gets too deep in Othello’s head, leaving him susceptible to lash out. Shakespeare wants to bring attention to the fact that no matter how hard one tries, the darkness creeps on eventually and wins. By this point in the play, all the character’s true colors have been shown. “Othello is forced to recognize that he lives in a tragic world, and he pays the price” which causes him to have his tragic downfall(Harbage).
Greek tragedy, according to M.H. Abrams, is a representation of serious action which results to a disastrous conclusion for the protagonist. Aristotle, on the other hand, also argues that tragedy involves a hero, a man or a woman, who is more moral than we are. He or she goes through reversals of fortune from joy to suffering because of his own tragic flaw called hamartia which is the error of judgment or his own hubris which is pride. Tragedy fills the reader's emotions with pity and fear as the tragic hero is judged unequally and is stricken by misfortune which he does not truly deserve.
Okonkwo can definitely be characterized as a tragic hero because he meets Aristotle 's standards of being an impressive figure that the reader can empathize with, possesses the essential qualities of goodness, appropriateness, lifelike, and consistency, and his death is due to a fatal flaw that results in a moral/lesson for the
W.H. Auden once said, “The truly tragic kind of suffering is the kind produced and defiantly insisted upon by the hero himself so that, instead of making him better, it makes him worse.” This suffering is what makes a tragic hero, along with other criteria. As is common in all tragedies, Antigone by Sophocles contains a very obvious tragic hero. Of the many characters, two stand out with similar flaws, Antigone and Creon. They are both flawed in their excessive pride, or hubris.