Tragic Heroes

Tragic Heroes

TRAGIC HEROES G9-18-19 THE EPIC An epic is a long narrative poem/prose that deals with a heros adventures and deeds Often reflects a cultures ideals, values, and beliefs Examples: Gilgamesh, the Bhagavad Gita, The Illiad, and The Odyssey

CHARACTERISTICS OF A HERO Archetype! Larger than life Perform great deeds, heroic battles, or dangerous quests May be demi-god A sense of honor Hubris- a characteristic (often pride) that may lead to terrible consequences

IN TABLE GROUPS In what ways is Okonkwo a hero? Larger than life Perform great deeds, heroic battles, or dangerous quests May be demi-god A sense of honor Hubris- a characteristic (often pride) that may lead to terrible consequences Also defined as the belief that you are immune to the will of the gods

ELEMENTS OF TRAGEDY According to Aristotle, tragedy depicts the downfall of a basically good person through some fatal error or misjudgment (hubris), producing suffering and insight on the part of the protagonist. This allows the audience to feel catharsis Catharsis: release of strong emotions (bringing relief)

Protagonists suffer; audience relates and therefore feels pity or fear Classic tragedies culminate with a new understanding from the protagonist or a moral awakening. WHAT IS A TRAGIC HERO? A tragic hero is the protagonist of the story, who for all accounts is a typical hero or lead character, but who has a tragic or fatal undoing. Because of some character flaw, the tragic

hero is doomed to fail. THE TRAGIC FLAW (HAMARTIA) The tragic flaw is whatever it is a reoccurring trait that causes a character to fail. Common examples are:

Hubris Pride Vanity Over-confidence Arrogance Cowardice Etc. IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS 1.Tragedy = representation of an action

that is serious and complete and of a certain magnitude. 2. Tragic hero = protagonist of story who makes a judgment error that inevitably leads to his/her own destruction. Has a tragic flaw (hamartia) that leads to downfall. Oftentimes, this flaw is a sort of excessive pride (hubris). PURPOSE OF TRAGEDY to create pity and fear in the

audience, leading to a purging of emotions (catharsis). CLASSICAL TRAGIC HERO Noble birth, or high stature. Heroic or potentially heroic qualities. Fated by the Gods or supernatural force to doom or at least to great suffering. Reversal of fortune. Struggles against fate. Belief in own freedom wins our admiration, despite pending doom. Tragic flaw = often resisting fate i.e. defying gods. (see next page for examples) Harsh punishment = death (usually)

Public mourning THE TRAGIC HERO ACHILLES Achilles was the immortal warrior who fought hector in the Trojan war. Many believe that his tragic flaw was the fact he was only vulnerable to injury in his heel. However, his real flaw was that he was more concerned with fame and glory, than living to be an old man The result of this was that when given the

chance to stop fighting, he instead chose to pursue glory and in the end died for it. He also disgraced Hectors body, angering the Gods, again leading to his eventual SHAKESPEAREAN TRAGIC HERO Noble birth, or high stature. Has potential for greatness = his/her tragedy will have far-reaching effects. A good person, but reversal in fortune Makes serious errors in judgment, including misreading of situations. Alienates and isolates self Recognizes mistakes/flaw too late, so tries to at least die bravely.

Tragic flaw Harsh punishment = death Public mourning MODERN TRAGIC HERO Modern combo of them all, with some revision Society may be oppressor Does not have to be high born. Common man May/not result in recognition of tragic flaw Harsh Punishment: May/not die May/not be mourned

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