The term hero is derived from a Greek phrase that means a person who faces adversity, or demonstrates courage, in the face of danger. However, every so often he faces downfall as well. When a hero confronts downfall, he's diagnosed as a tragic hero or protagonist. Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, characterizes those plays or stories, wherein the main character is a tragic hero, as tragedies. Here, the hero confronts his downfall whether due to destiny, or via his personal mistake, or another social reason.
Aristotle defines a tragic hero as “someone who have to evoke a experience of pity and fear inside the audience. He is taken into consideration a person of misfortune that comes to him via blunders of judgment.” A tragic hero’s downfall inspires emotions of pity and worry some of the target market.
Characteristics of a Tragic Hero
Here we have fundamental traits of a tragic hero, as explained through Aristotle:
Hamartia – a sad flaw that reasons the downfall of a hero.
Hubris – immoderate pleasure and disrespect for the herbal order of matters.
Peripeteia – The reversal of fate that the hero experiences.
Anagnorisis – a moment in time whilst hero makes an crucial discovery within the story.
Nemesis – a punishment that the protagonist cannot avoid, normally occurring as a result of his hubris.
Catharsis – emotions of pity and fear felt by way of the audience, for the inevitable downfall of the protagonist.
Examples of Tragic Hero in Literature
Example #1: Oedipus, Oedipus Rex (By Sophocles)
Aristotle has used his individual Oedipus as an ideal instance of a sad hero, as he has hubris such that he is ignorant of the truth. He refuses to listen to clever men, along with Tiresias, who predicts that Oedipus has killed his father, Laius. He is tragic because he struggles in opposition to the forces of his fate, and pitiable due to his weakness, which arouses worry within the audience. Thus, Oedipus is an excellent instance of the tragic hero, as he precipitated his personal downfall, falling from his own estate and going through undeserved punishment.
Example #2: Prince Hamlet, Hamlet (through William Shakespeare)
Hamlet is the prince of Denmark, a man of high social popularity and noble through birth. He is almost driven to madness by way of his father’s tortured ghost, who convinces him that Claudius is answerable for his father’s death, and that he has devoted treachery. Hamlet then makes a plan to take revenge on his father’s killer, but he's blinded by using his hamartia, neglecting his family members with other loved ones – Ophelia and his mom Gertrude. Hamlet’s hamartia is his steady contemplation and brooding, which reasons him to delay, which in the long run consequences in his destruction. By the end, Hamlet additionally falls in a bloodbath, touching the hearts of the target market by way of highlighting the maximum primal worry, death.
Example #3: Romeo, Romeo and Juliet (by William Shakespeare)
Romeo is likewise a excellent example of a tragic hero. He is a person of excessive social standing, who falls in love effortlessly with a female whose own family holds animosity in the direction of his very own family. Romeo’s tragic flaw is begin believing on his fate immediately. Juliet acts like a dead person, and Romeo thinks her actually useless. Therefore, he kills himself. When she wakes up and sees him dead, she additionally kills herself. Thus, it's miles not handiest destiny, however also his actions and choices that convey his downfall and death.
Example #4: Davy Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean (by means of Irene Trimble)
Davy Jones is a modern example of an ordinary tragic hero. He is basically a sea captain, who falls in love with the sea goddess, Calypso. However, Calypso breaks Jones’ coronary heart, making him enraged, tragic, and bitter. He grows into a aggregate of a humanoid and octopus, and leads his savage group on raids inside the whole sea on his ship, the Flying Dutchman. At first, he was no longer terrible, however his liked breaks his heart that turns him into awful man. Eventually, Will Sparrow kills him. Jones’ hamartia is that he's a broken-hearted hero, who suffers on the arms of his liked, Calypso.
Function of Tragic Hero
The cause of a tragic hero is to rouse sad emotions, consisting of pity and fear, which makes the target audience experience catharsis, relieving them in their pent up emotions. The tragic flaw of the hero leads to his loss of life or downfall that in turn brings tragic end. This gives information to the audience to keep away from such matters in their ordinary lives. The sufferings and fall of a hero, arousing emotions of pity and fear through catharsis, purges the audiences of these emotions, to convert them into right humans and excellent citizens.
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