Topics: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Tragic hero Pages: 4 (1799 words) Published: May 12, 2013
English II- H, 1st period
December 11,2012

In “Things fall apart” by Chinua Achebe. The main character Okonkwo is portrayed as a tragic hero. A tragic hero is a central or main character who is usually of high noble birth and demonstrates a “fatal flaw”. A fatal flaw is a characteristic that prompts him or her to take an action or make a decision that ultimately leads to his downfall or death. Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero has four parts in order to be in order to determine if okonkwo is one he has to set examples to show that he is one. As of chapter twenty, part 3 okonkwo does seem like a tragic hero.

Aristotle’s first part in order to become a tragic hero would be: a person of noble or high status who has a mixture of good and bad in his personality. Okonkwo shows many ways of his noble status or high status some examples would be “ as the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with the kings. Okonkwo had clearly washed his hands and so he ate with kings and elders”. (8) Going deeper into this meaning its like saying he has to earn his way to the top so therefore okonkwo has earn his way to the top so he lived like the top people in the village. Another example of okonkwo high status would be people referring to him as ‘the lords of the clans” (26). They were surprised to see him rise from poverty to fortune so quick that they considered him that. Some bad aspects of his noble status would be that “ He had no patient fro unsuccessful men”. (4) That would be a very bad trait to have because later on he beats his wife during peace week and so in result the oracle yells him at due to the fact that his reaction to him beating his wife could result in punishment for everybody.

The second part of Aristotle’s definition would be: he has a fatal flaw or hamartia, which leads to his downfall. A hamartia would a fatal flaw that causes okonkwo to lead to his downfall. Okonkwo fatal flaw would be his fear of being recognized as weak....
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