Theories Of Romeo And Juliet Tragic Hero

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In a tragedy, a tragic hero possesses heroic qualities that were lost because of a tragic flaw or a terrible mistake. Thus, the audience is sympathetic towards the hero’s relatable human qualities. Through the hero’s downfall, humanity’s redeeming qualities are also revealed. Three main theories of the tragic hero are the Aristotelian model, the Shakespearean model, and the modern tragic hero. Each model has five defining characteristics, which are nobility, hamartia, downfall, anagnorisis, and suffering. In the Shakespearean model of tragedy, the play Romeo and Juliet best models the tragic hero. For instance, nobility is characterized by being upper class and having elevated character. Romeo satisfies both these criteria through his position as the son of the Montagues’, a wealthy family in Verona, and he was even described as a gentlemen by his family’s enemy. In addition, Romeo’s hamartia, or his fatal error that ultimately brings his doom, lies in his impulsive actions, which drives him to kill Tybalt, Paris, and eventually himself. The tragic hero also has a downfall, where his circumstances are reversed and he gradually loses power. In Romeo’s example, his continued abrupt actions lead to his fatal end. In Shakespearean tragedy, the anagnorisis, or the change from ignorance to the recognition of the hamartia, is not always realized by the tragic hero. While it does not appear Romeo acknowledged his own lack of sensibility, both Friar Laurence and Juliet
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