Tragic hero

Topics: Suffering, Tragedy, Morality Pages: 3 (972 words) Published: October 2, 2013
The ideal tragic hero, according to Aristotle, should be, in the first place, a man of eminence. The actions of an eminent man would be ‘serious, complete and of a certain magnitude’, as required by Aristotle. Further, the hero should not only be eminent but also basically a good man, though not absolutely virtuous. The sufferings, fall and death of an absolutely virtuous man would generate feelings of disgust rather than those of ‘terror and compassion’ which a tragic play must produce. The hero should neither be a villain nor a wicked person for his fall, otherwise his death would please and satisfy our moral sense without generation the feelings of pity, compassion and fear. Therefore, the ideal tragic hero should be basically a good man with a minor flaw or tragic trait in his character. The entire tragedy should issue from this minor flaw or error of judgment. The fall and sufferings and death of such a hero would certainly generate feelings of pity and fear. So, Aristotle says: “For our pity is excited by misfortunes undeservedly suffered, and our terror by some resemblance between the sufferer and ourselves.” Finally, Aristotle says: “There remains for our choice a person neither eminently virtuous nor just, nor yet involved in misfortune by deliberate vice or villainy, but by some error or human frailty; and this person should also be someone of high-fame and flourishing prosperity.” Such a man would make an ideal tragic hero.The ideal tragic hero, according to Aristotle, should be, in the first place, a man of eminence. The actions of an eminent man would be ‘serious, complete and of a certain magnitude’, as required by Aristotle. Further, the hero should not only be eminent but also basically a good man, though not absolutely virtuous. The sufferings, fall and death of an absolutely virtuous man would generate feelings of disgust rather than those of ‘terror and compassion’ which a tragic play must produce. The hero should neither be a villain nor a...
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