Tragic Hero In Fences, By August Wilson

451 Words2 Pages

A tragic hero is a character in a literary work whose hamartia, or tragic flaw, causes their downfall. They usually hold a high status in the society they reside in, and their peers love them. They are the cause of their downfall, but there is always a lesson behind it. A tragic appears in the dramatic play, “Fences”, by August Wilson. The protagonist, Troy Maxson, defines this role. He is a 53-year-old African American in the 1950s, with a questionable history. He has a family, loves to talk about baseball, and knows how to solve problems whenever.
Troy is the patriarch of his family. He has two sons from two different marriages, a disabled brother who he sometimes takes care of, and a friend named Bono, who visits occasionally. Troy is an …show more content…

As a former Negro League player, he makes metaphors to life and death with baseball. “I’m gonna[sic] tell you what your first mistake was. swung at the ball and didn’t hit it. That’s strike one. . . . Don’t you strike out!” (Wilson, p. 58). He refers to strikes as if you get closer to death. Baseball represents his life, and he himself has struck out a few times.
As said before, Troy knows how to take care of his family. However, when it comes to most situations, he handles it based on his past. He believes that because he was black, the Major League would not let him on the team. This is seen in a conversation with his son, Cory. Cory wants to play football, but Troy wants him to work at a grocery store called the A&P. Troy ‘knows’ Cory would not really play football anyway even if he got onto the team. “I decided seventeen years ago that boy wasn’t getting involved in no sports. Not after what they did to me in the sports.” (Wilson, p. 39). He feels that everything he does is correct, which contributes to his character as his hamartia.
Troy can be recognized as the tragic hero in “Fences”. He has good people around him, being inspired by him and loving him, but the way he handles his life and his decisions are not the best. It ultimately leads to his death because he is the reason why everything turns on

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