Tragic Hero

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The tragic hero is one of the most commonly used characters in literature today. The tragic hero first made his appearance with Sophocles, a Greek philosopher, in fourth century BCE. Since then, he has been used in numerous literary styles: plays, epics, tragedies, and novels. Why do so many authors utilize the man who lives his life in strive today? Authors use the tragic hero’s “struggles with destiny” (S.H. Butcher) to help teach the audience certain morals they believe are necessary for living.

Oedipus is blinded by his will to defy fate. He lives his life with “neither confidence nor fear,” (14) which leads him into the path of destruction. After King Laius’s death, Oedipus seeks to “dispel the stain” from Thebes to prevent his own death by the “same violent hand.”(16) Oedipus is unaware he is the murderer—in trying to prevent himself from killing his “father” he runs to Thebes and killed his father. Oedipus, however, is so blinded by his lack of knowledge of his past; he believes no one can harm him “or any other who sees the light.” (23) Oedipus continues to struggle with the rationality of his fate—especially after discovering he murdered his father and married his mother. His valiant efforts to save his father and avenge King Laius’s death end with Oedipus casting “terrible curses” (37) on him as it all ends “in vain” (48) In the end, Oedipus realizes it is better for him to live in permanent darkness where he can bask in true light. Sophocles utilizes Oedipus’s fight with fate to emphasize his moral standings. Oedipus is determined to defy the destiny given to him and struggles to live a morally given to him and struggles to live a morally righteous life.

Othello is driven by passionate actions over-ru...

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...le for parents striving to give their children a better life yet it is also accessible to children who have over barring parents. Readers can visually see the good intensions is Troy that a brutally twisted and end in poor choices.

Aristotle believed that “a man cannot become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall.” These downfalls are precisely what will drive pathos into the hearts and minds of readers. The moral compass within the character reminds readers that they cannot completely fault him for his actions, but they cannot simply forgive him by blaming it on lack of sight, intense passions, complexities of life, or jealously of living. His fate always drives him into pain and disaster ultimately rewarding him with strife and suffering.

Works Cited

Things Fall Apart; Achebe

Fences; Wilson

Oedipus rex; Sophocles

Othello; Shakespeare
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