English Essay

Topics: Tragic hero, Tragedy, Poetics Pages: 2 (552 words) Published: May 8, 2013
Emma Stantial
Honors English 9 (B)
23 April 2013
Rough Draft
Are Oedipus and Romeo tragic heroes? According to literature a tragedy is a series of mis-unforutuante events in the lives of the main characters brought on by the tragic hero’s flaws. Many would consider Oedipus and Romeo not to be tragic heroes, but just main characters. Based on literature's definition, Romeo and Oedipus would most likely fit the position to be a tragic hero.

The idea of a tragic hero was created in ancient Greek tragedy and defined by Aristotle. A tragic hero is the protagonist of a tragedy. A tragic hero is one that has a major flaw, (tragic flaw often reffered to as a hamartia) and for whom the audience usually feels bad for. Tragic heroes must be noble in nature but not perfect so the audience members can see themselves through him (make it realistic). The tragic hero should be emotionally or physically damaged by his experiences. Most commonly the tragic hero is a leader of men or the king. Common traits of a tragic hero are considered tragic flaws. Suffering more than deserved, doomed from the start but bearing no responsibility for possessing the flaw, and discovering their fate by their own actions, are just a few of what is considered to be tragic flaws. Aristotle once said, “A man cannot become a hero until he sees the root of his own downfall.” Usually the tragic hero has the following sequence of “Great, Good, Flaw, Recognition, Downfall.” However the hero's suffering is not unjustified because the hero is enlightened through tremendous suffering. Pride is cut down.

A tragic hero can often be referred to as “a noble man with a tragic flaw,” Oedipus most defiantly fits that description. Oedipus is the King of Thebes, he is caring towards his people, who love and trust him. He is truly the picture perfect leader. Unfortunately he has a quick temper, and doesn't think logically in some important situations. Like all actions come with consequences,...
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