Theme Of Heroism In The Great Gatsby

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Society defines a hero as someone of exceptional courage, strength, or outstanding achievements. According to A.C Bradley, a tragic hero is defined as someone of high class, who possesses a specific flaw that will eventually lead them to their demise. This idea of a character experiencing a tragic fate is represented through two different texts with similar protagonists. Author Scott F. Fitzgerald of “The Great Gatsby” demonstrates this rise and fall of the main character, Jay Gatsby. Similarly, author William Shakespeare presents his ideas of a tragic hero through the character Othello, in the play “Othello”. Comparing the two matters, both Jay Gatsby and Othello face similar character flaws that play a significant role in leading to their…show more content…
This can lead to the upcoming or failure of a character. The American dream is a belief that Gatsby carries with him throughout the novel, but it is also a fantasy. He believes in something that is not reality, “Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever” (Fitzgerald, 93). For a brief moment, Gatsby began to come to the realization that this so called dream of his might not be obtainable. This is significant because he has had this mind-set from the day he left for war, that this romantic idealism is possible if he strives to achieve his goal through effort. To this day, people still carry this dream with them. This idea that with hard work and dedication any goal is possible, is the exact mentality that lead to Gatsby's defeat. What one person believes in and what is actually a reality can be two completely different things. Appearance versus reality is a common theme found among Shakespeare's plays, as seen in “Othello”. It becomes apparent that this deception can lead to the ultimate destruction of a character in Shakespeare's plays. Othello is manipulated by the jealous villain Iago as he encourages him to misinterpret what he sees, steering Othello away from the truth. Othello is susceptible to Iago's ploys due to the fact that he himself is so honest and straightforward, “For when my outward action doth demonstrate the…show more content…
Gatsby based his love for Daisy on the fact that she was a young girl he met before going off to war. In their time apart, Gatsby aimed to build the American Dream while Daisy enjoyed the riches by those who adored her. Despite their time a part, Gatsby stayed convinced that he, even after five years, could still woo Daisy and win her heart just by displaying his riches to her. “He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy” (Fitzgerald, 110). He illegally smuggled alcohol to gain riches and win back his true love, which ultimately resulted in his heart being broken when she chose her husband over him. This heartache cut deep and had a major influence on Gatsby and his actions leading to his defeat. Love is always followed by a price to pay as seen with the characters of Gatsby and Othello. With Othello we see his love for his wife though his affection and his jealousy. This jealousy brought out by him was made quite evident to the rest of the characters in the play, “Oh, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on” (III, iii, 169-171). His death was brought upon by his jealous nature towards his wife whom he loved so dearly. Once his true love was gone, out of guilt and defeat
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