Examples of Tragic Heroes Essay

Examples of Tragic Heroes Essay

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Tragedy and suffering happen often in the world, and it is often that tragedy comes upon someone that was once a hero. The steps of a tragic hero are being in a happy or “high place,” hamartia, which is usually hubris, followed by peripeteia, which is reversal of fortune, then their fall and recognition of the fall and failure. A good example of a tragic hero is John F. Kennedy Jr (JFK Jr.) and Pete Rose from real life. JFK Jr. started in his high place by being constantly in the spotlight because his father was the president. Even when his father was assassinated, JFK Jr. always had what he needed. His hamartia came when he crashed his plane, causing his death on July 16, 1999. His hamartia was shown when it was determined he was not qualified to fly a plane, even though he thought he was. His peripeteia is shown when he started up in the plane. He probably was planning to have a great time, but it was too late once he lifted off. His fall came at the point when he crashed his plane, causing his death. This caused for the recognition of most people, especially his family, being devastated by his death. Even though most were sad for him, he was not qualified to fly, along with many other circumstances leading to his death. This situation displays a motif of tragedy within the Kennedy family. When someone witnesses a tragic hero, they can know of the suffering while not being directly affected by it. When it is witnessed, it can help one cleanse their emotions by learning the lesson of a story, and knowing not to make the same mistakes that a tragic hero makes.

Other prime examples of a tragic hero are the poem Musee des Beaux Arts by W. H. Auden, and the painting The Fall of Icarus by Peter Brueghel. Both works ex...


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...n both art and real life. In art, it can be an author trying to prove a point, or just an interesting story. In real life, situations play out, and can reflect the way that people not only view the former hero, but everything that involves them. Something, though, they both have in common is catharsis and the five steps of a tragic hero. No matter how the situation plays out, if it is a tragic hero situation, the five steps are always in play, and catharsis sets in. The catharsis being the purification after the situation sets in and emotions change. The emotions may be different based on the situation they apply to. Either way, any tragic hero has a high place, which leads to a fall. Whether or not we know the reason for the fall, a hero has still become someone, in our eyes, less than great. That is what they must live with. That is life, life is tragic.

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