Kennedy Is an American Tragic Hero

1681 Words7 Pages
Kennedy Is an American Tragic Hero

What makes a hero a tragic hero? According to the Greek play write Aristotle, a hero must possess certain character traits in order to be tragic. Aristotle’s rules are still used today when labeling a hero tragic or not tragic. Jack Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth president of the United States is a tragic hero, because he possess four of the six traits a tragic hero must possess. This will be proven through the use of credible sources and explanation of these four traits.

President Kennedy easily qualifies for the first rule of being a tragic hero because, he was a man of noble stature and greatness. Kennedy accomplished noble stature and greatness before he became president when he wrote a Pulitzer Prize novel, saved his men in the Navy when he was a PT Boat Skipper, and eventually when he became the president. In The Presidents of the United States, Freidel and Sidey inform the reader that:

He (JFK) wrote Profiles in Courage, which won the Pulitzer Prize in History. (Freidel and Sidey).

Winning a Pulitzer was not the only thing he did that made him great before presidency. Kennedy was also a WWII war hero. As a PT boat skipper he saved his men in an attack from the Japanese. One of the men who knew Kennedy, saved after his PT-109 was hit by a Japanese destroyer in the Blackett Strait, was Patrick McMahon. After McMahon passed away in 1990 his step-son was asked about the event and what McMahon said about Kennedy:

Because he suffered extensive burns in the action, McMahon was unable to swim. The machinist mate first class was kept afloat for about four hours by Kennedy, who swam three miles to a small island with McMahon’s life jacket between his teeth. My stepfather often told m...

... middle of paper ...

...a." The White House Historical Association. N.p., 2006. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

Ghaemi, Nassir. "What Jackie Kennedy Didnt Say and Didnt Know." Psychology Today: Mood Swings. Sussex Publishers, Llc, 14 Sept. 2011. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.

Granberry, Micheal. "Man Saved From Drowning by John F. Kennedy Dies." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 1990. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

"JFK: An "idealist without Illusion"" The Denver Post [Denver] 17 Nov. 2013: 1D. Tarrant County College. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

"John F Kennedy Becomes the 35th President of the United States." Life of John F. Kennedy. Boston: John F. Kennedy Presidental Library and Museum, n.d. 5. Print.

King, Larry, and Cal Fussman. My Remarkable Journey. 1st ed. New York: Weinstein, 2009. Print.

Wolf, Naomi. "JFK's Woman Problem." Africa News Service 9 Dec. 2013: n. pag. Tarrant County College. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Open Document