Is Troy Maxson a “Tragic Hero?”

Topics: Family, Tragic hero, Love Pages: 4 (1403 words) Published: May 29, 2011
A tragic hero is a character who used to do good deeds in the light of others but allows for his flaws or inner struggles to overcome him. As a result, this downfall leads to the character’s death. In the case of Troy Maxson, main character from the play “Fences” by August Wilson, it is clear that he constantly struggles to keep up with good deeds for his family, but unfortunately allowed his inner flaws to lead him to his lonely and tragic death. Therefore, Troy Maxson is indeed considered a tragic hero and there are pieces of evidence throughout the aforementioned play that further proves my point.

Troy Maxson is a man with two sons by the name of Cory and Lyons Maxson. He had Lyons before he went to jail with one woman and had Cory after jail with Rose Maxson; his current wife. His character is made up of both positive and negative attributes. He can be described as controlling because he has all the authority during the beginning of the story when Cory brings up an opportunity in getting into college football. When this idea is brought onto Troy’s table, his immediate response was to say no. The reason for this action was clear. He was protecting his son from having high hopes because he believed the color barrier was not broken. Although he said no to Cory’s opportunity, he was being a hero in his own way. Troy Maxson was known to be the breadwinner of the family. He provided for his wife and his son which is why he was respected. His characteristics were that of a powerful man. Rose asks Troy “what you all out here getting into?” And he responds “what you worried about what we getting into for? This is men talk, woman” (1.1.41-1.1.42). This quote gives an example of his strong masculinity characteristics. He struggled a lot when he was younger living with his father. His father did not provide for the family materialistically or emotionally. Growing up to this horrible lifestyle, Troy was either going to learn, grow, and live by...
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