Hamartia is a private blunders in a protagonist’s persona, which brings approximately his tragic downfall in a tragedy. This disorder in a hero’s character is also referred to as a “tragic flaw.”
Aristotle used the word in his Poetics, in which it's far taken as a mistake or blunders in judgment. The term envelops wrongdoings, which may be accidental or deliberate. One of the classic hamartia examples is where a hero desires to obtain something however, at the same time as doing so, he commits an intentional or accidental mistakes, and he ends up reaching precisely the alternative with disastrous results. Such a downfall is often marked via a reversal of fortune.
Hamartia and Hubris
A typical example of hamartia in tragedies is hubris, which is immoderate pleasure and ego in a hero’s character. This often ultimately brings about his tragic downfall. In Greek tragedies, the hubristic moves of a hero in a powerful position reasons his shame and humiliation.
Examples of Hamartia in Literature
Example #1: Oedipus (By Sophocles)
Oedipus, a famous Greek tragedy, is a really perfect instance of hamartia, in which the primary person’s downfall is because of unintentional wrongdoings. His hubris leads him to defy the prophecy of gods, however he ends up doing what he feared the most.
In the story, the Oracle of Delphi instructed Oedipus that he could kill his father and marry his mother. To keep away from this, he leaves the town of Corinth, and heads in the direction of Thebes. On his way, he killed an vintage man in a feud. Later, he married the queen of Thebes when he was made king of the city, after he saved the metropolis from a lethal Sphinx. He devoted a majority of these sins in whole ignorance, but he deserved punishment because of his trying to rebel against his destiny. His reversal of fortune is due to his actions, which are in a feel blasphemous.
Example #2: Hamlet (By William Shakespeare)
Prince Hamlet’s tragic flaw, in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, determines his tragic downfall. Hamlet’s hamartia is his indecisiveness. He can't make up his mind approximately the dilemmas he confronts. He famous his state of mind within the following strains from Act 3, Scene 1 of the play:
“To be, or now not to be — this is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler within the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And through opposing end them. To die, to sleep…”
Hamlet desires to kill his father’s murderer, Claudius, however rather ruins his life through delaying action, as he seems for evidence to justify the act. In the process, he spoils his relationship along with his mother, and sends Ophelia into such a nation of depression that she commits suicide. This indecision got almost every person killed at the give up of the play. He killed Claudius by means of assuming faux madness due to his indecisiveness in action so that he will not be requested for any justification.
Example #3: Doctor Faustus (By Christopher Marlowe)
Among the hamartia examples in literature, one in all the quality can be discovered in Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. The tragic flaw of Faustus become his ambitious nature. Despite being a reputable scholar, he offered his soul to Lucifer by way of signing a contract, together with his blood, for accomplishing ultimate energy and limitless pleasure in this world.
He learns the artwork of black magic and defies Christianity. We see a tragic war where Faustus thinks about repenting, however it's far all too late. Finally, the devils takes his soul away to Hell and he suffers everlasting damnation because of his over-ambition.
Example #4: Frankenstein (By Mary Shelley)
Victor, in Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, is another man or woman whose downfall is because of a tragic errors. His hubris, or extreme pride and arrogance, comes to a decision his fate in the narrative. He strives to end up an unheard of scientist, and creates a monster that in the end becomes the motive of his disaster.
Function of Hamartia
Hamartia imparts a feel of pity and worry inside the audience, or the readers. The audience identifies with the tragic hero as, like them, his individual is a combination of right and horrific qualities. They feel pity for the reversal of fortune that he undergoes. Similarly, by witnessing a sad hero suffer due to his very own flaw, the target market or the readers might also fear the equal fate may want to befall them if they indulge in similar sorts of action.
Therefore, hamartia may be hired for a ethical purpose, to encourage people to improve their characters by means of removing the issues that can purpose a tragedy in their lives.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw