The Tragic Hero and Hamartia

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3. Tragic Hero & Hamartia :-
Aristotle in his ‘Poetics’ has given an ideal concept of tragic hero. According to Aristotle tragic hero in a tragic drama should neither be too good or perfect hero nor be too wicked or bad. Fall of a perfect good man would not arouse pity but it may shock us or disgust us. In the same way, utterly wicked person passing from happiness to misery is lacking in proper tragic qualities, nevertheless satisfying our moral sense. Thus in the view of Aristotle, totally good and utterly bad man are the unsuitable characters for tragedy. Similarly, according to Aristotelian canon, a perfect good man – a saint would be unsuitable as a tragic hero. He is on the side of moral order and hence his fall shocks and repels. Further his martyrdom is a spiritual victory and the sense of moral triumph drowns the feeling of pity for his physical suffering. Aristotle, having rejected total perfection as well as utter depravity and villainy, points out that ideal tragic hero is a man who stands midway between the two extremes. Though he inclines to the side of goodness, he serves not like eminently good or just despite rising above the ordinary level by heightened powers of intellect or will, he is like us. He idealized yet he still has so much of common humanity as to enlist our interest and sympathy. Aristotle lays down another qualification for the tragic hero. He must be a person occupying a position of lofty eminence in society. He must be a highly placed individual, well-reputed. This is so because Greek tragedy, with which alone Aristotle was familiar, was written about a few distinguished royal families. But modern drama has demonstrated that even the meanest individual can serve as a tragic hero as well as a prince of the royal blood, and that the tragedies of Sophoclean grandeur can be enacted even in remote courtly solitudes. Hamartia:-

The meaning of Greek word “Hamartia” is “Missing Mark”. He falls not because of the act of some outside...
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