Tragic Hero Examples

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A tragic hero is a protagonist in a tragedy who is doomed by fate to destruction. The tragic hero displays heroic traits, but also possesses a tragic flaw that brings them down in the end. However, even though the death of the tragic hero has negative effects, the majority is for the greater good. 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…show more content…
An example of a real-life Shakespearean tragic hero is Pete Rose, a famous baseball player from 1963-1986, and manager from 1984-1989. All tragic heroes have a noble characteristic, which is portrayed as being upper class and having elevated character. Pete rose satisfies both of these criteria because he was a famous baseball player, and achieved this status by having an unmatched work ethic. Unfortunately, his hamartia, or tragic flaw, lies in his hubris, or excessive confidence and pride. These flaws lead to his mistake of betting on his own team while managing, which ultimately led to his downfall. After suspicions of this betting, the Commissioner’s office hired a prosecutor to start an investigation, and he was banished from baseball forever shortly after. This banishment was devastating to Pete Rose, because it erased his chance of getting into the Hall of Fame completely. In the Shakespearean model of tragedy, anagnorisis, or the change from ignorance to the recognition of the hamartia, is not always perceived by the tragic hero. However, Pete Rose accepts his punishment and knows his gambling habits were a monumental mistake. Lastly, the tragic hero experiences suffering or death that is widespread, as Pete Rose does when he gets banished from baseball and affects all of his fans in Cincinnati. Through the five main characteristics, the Shakespearean tragic hero follows a downward spiral from nobility to suffering, ending in a catastrophe that brings insight into human
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