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The Aristotelian tragic hero
Transcript of The Aristotelian tragic hero
What makes up a Tragic Hero
Hamlet: his indecisiveness lead to ruin his and his mother's relationship and lead to Ophelia's suicide
Examples of the tragic hero:
Oedipus: his pride made him disobey the god's prophecy and the outcome was the opposite of what he wanted: he became a nuisance to the gods
Odysseus: He was prideful in himself and when he defeated the Cyclops shouted his name which Poseidon heard and cursed him into going through another storm which made it take longer for his journey to be completed
Macbeth: Macbeth's fatal flaw was that he wanted to prophecy to come true so bad he made it happen himself by killing the king which got him into more trouble than he wanted which ended up leading to his death when Macduff killed him.
Aristotle shared his view of what makes a tragic hero in his Poetics. Aristotle suggests that a hero of a tragedy must evoke in the audience a sense of pity or fear, saying, “the change of fortune presented must not be the spectacle of a virtuous man brought from prosperity to adversity."
Romeo: His emotions for Juliet made him go against the his family which lead to the death of him, Juliet, his mother, and many other characters in the story.
"A man can not become a hero until he can see the root of his downfall" -Aristotle
The tragic flaw that ultimately leads to his downfall
Usually due to excessive pride
Peripeteia: a reversal of fortune brought about by the hero's tragic flaw
: best to be single and complex, rather than double; all plots have some suffering, but a complex plot includes reversal recognition
What's in a Tragedy?
action with serious implications
complete and possess magnitude
language sensuously attractive
tragedy relies on enactment
Usually of noble birth
King - Leader of Men
Audience feels pity for the Character
Doomed from the start
Actions result in an increase of self-knowledge
The tragic hero is a man of noble stature. He is not an ordinary man, but a man with outstanding quality and greatness about him. His own destruction is for a greater cause and principle.
Every tragic hero has a tragic flaw.
Hamlet: Hamlet is the prince of Denmark, and his father was killed. He wakes up and sees a spirit and is determined it's his father. The ghost states that Hamlet's uncle, Claudius, killed his father and it was up to Hamlet to avenge his father's death. Hamlet falls in love with the daughter of the Lord Chamberlain of Claudius's court. Ophelia becomes burdened with stress and drowns in a river.
"Aristotle & the Elements of Tragedy." Ohio University. Ohio University. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
"The Oedipus Plays." Sparknotes. Sparknotes LLC, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
"Hamlet." Sparknotes. Sparknotes LLC, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
"Tragic Flaw." Literary Devices. Literary Devices. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
“Tragic Hero as Defined by Aristotle.” N.d. PDF File.
"Trag.hero.htm." Trag.hero.htm. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
Romeo and Juliet: A long feud between the Montague and Capulet families disrupts the city of Verona and causes tragic results for Romeo and Juliet who fall in love, but cannot be together. A secret marriage force the young star-crossed lovers to grow up quickly for Juliet is to be wed to another. Juliet takes a sleeping potion that makes her appear to be dead for 42 hours in this time Romeo is to be told that she is still alive, however he was not so he illegally purchased a poison so that he could be with Juliet in death. He goes to her tomb and takes the poison. When Juliet awakes she sees this and kills herself with a dagger.
The Odyssey: Odysseus was a hero of the Trojan War. On his way back home, he harms a Cyclopes’ eye, so Poseidon gets angry and makes his trip extremely difficult. He encounters many monsters, and his entire crew dies. He stays with Calypso for 7 out of 10 years. When he returns home, Athena helps him, and there are many suitors in his house. He reunites with his son Telemachus and his dog dies that day. He kills all of the suitors. His wife, Penelope, tests him with his bed to see if it’s really him.
Macbeth: Three witches tell him that he will become thain and king. when he later becomes thain he tells hiss wife about the witches prophecy and she decides they need to kill the king. When they kill the king the kings son runs away and Macbeth becomes king. He later goes back to the three witches and he sees warnings of the Macduff family. Macbeth orders Macbeth and his family to be killed. Macduff had already left and lady Macbeth kills herself. In the end Macduff beheads Macbeth.
Oedipus: Oedipus, a king, has to fix a problem that's troubling his people, and to do this, he has to find out who killed the previous king. He discusses this issue with his wife and she tells him about the previous king and how he died. The story sounds familiar to Oedipus, but he refuses to accept that he killed Laius. His wife also told him how Laius was told his son would kill him, so Oedipus went out to see if he was the son, and eventually finds it to be true.