The Tragic hero vs. The Common Man
The play Macbeth by William Shakespeare and the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley are both considered to be tragedies, although they very different. In the play Macbeth, Macbeth is considered to be a tragedy of a tragic hero and in Brave New World, John is said to be a tragedy of a common man. John and Macbeth both share many differences according to Aristotle’s view of the tragic hero and Arthur Miller’s view of the common man. These differences include their standings, catharsis, and the tragic flaw. Aristotle believed that in order to be a tragic hero, the hero must first be represented as royal and noble man with high standings. In the beginning of the play Macbeth is represented as a man in position of greatness by being born of noble blood as the Thane of Glamis. He is initially portrayed as a man with great reputation by being a loyal solider of the Scottish nobility when defeating Macdonald’s army and the invading army from Norway on the same day. This impression of Macbeth is formed from other characters views and the audience’s introduction to him. “For brave Macbeth well he deserves that name disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution.” (Act 1 Scene 2 lines 16-18) This quote shows how the Captain is describing Macbeth as a brave and fierce warrior to King Duncan. Also by defeating the invading army Macbeth resembles the tragic hero by achieving success by being pronounced as the Thane of Cawdor. John on the hand is viewed to be a common man in Arthur Miller’s view. Arthur Miller believed that tragic hero does not need to be royal or noble to experience tragedy to the greatest extreme, for the common man can fit the role as aptly. This can be applied to John due to the fact that he is a savage in the reservation and is not born of high standing. He has the lowest reputation as he is considered to be the ultimate outcast because he was...
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