According to dictionary.com a tragic hero is, “a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat.” As defined by Aristotle, “A tragic hero is a literary character who makes a judgement error that inevitably leads to his/her own destruction.” Both of these definitions are different; however they are both correct. The definition of a hero is debatable and depends on the situation. A tragic hero is someone who is born of a noble birth, shows humility, accomplishes great deeds, and is a national hero.
A noble birth is when someone is born from, or related to, royalty. Achilles, a Greek warrior, son of a Sea Goddess, adored by Zeus, Thetis, and a beloved mortal, Peleus. Hector, a Trojan warrior, is the son of the King and Queen of Priam, whom led the city of Troy. Beowulf has relations with royalty and protection by God. His family consists of a king and queen. God created men in his image; therefore, God protects Beowulf. King Hamlet and Queen Gertrude of Denmark parented Hamlet.
Even though these heroes are born from nobility they also remain humble. In the Iliad, Achilles and Hector belong to opposing forces; however, they both show humility. Achilles became very upset with Agamemnon. Achilles fought in a war caused by other people. After the death of Patroclus, Achilles enters into battle to avenge the death of Patroclus. Patroclus was killed by Hector; consequently, to avenge Patroclus, Achilles kills Hector. While Achilles is avenging Patroclus he says, “Hector, you thought that you should come off unharmed when you were spoiling Patroclus. Fool that you were: for I, his comrade, mightier far than he, was still left behind at the ships, and now I have kil...
... middle of paper ...
...ying the monster who terrorized the inhabitants of Herot Hall for many years, Grendel. Not only did Beowulf have to slay Grendel, but also he defeated Grendel’s mother, a water witch. In a different way, Hamlet also accomplished great deeds. In the play Hamlet, King Claudius murders Hamlet’s father, King Hamlet. King Claudius conspires with many people to have Hamlet murdered, including Hamlet’s friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
These heroes have accomplished great deeds; consequently, they are national heroes. Achilles is king of fierce warriors, the Myrmidons. Just like Achilles, Hector, Beowulf and Hamlet are also leaders and loved by their peoples. Hector is the Prince of Priam. Beowulf is King of the Geats. Hamlet is the beloved prince of Denmark. “Hard times don 't create heroes. It is during the hard times when the 'hero ' within us is revealed.” (Riley)
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In the Iliad, Patroclus stepped up and took over Achilles position in battle; he died for Achilles and revealed the true hero in himself. Patroclus, “lost in his own great innocence … condemned to beg for his own death and brutal doom” (16.54,55). He had such courage and bravery to take upon this high responsibility. Achilles even directs Patroclus to “take this command to heart—obey it to the end” so that Patroclus could win glory for him. (16.96). Achilles decides if he sends out Patroclus then he will receive glory for his acts.... [tags: Iliad, Achilles, Hero, Zeus]
921 words (2.6 pages)
- The tragedies of William Shakespeare often include a tragic hero. A tragic hero is one who brings about his own ruin and the ruin of those he loves. The tragic hero is not necessarily evil, he is simply human and has human flaws. Often there is a "fatal flaw" which leads to his downfall. In the play, Macbeth the tragic hero is the lead character, Macbeth. He is tempted by the chance to take the throne and he will do anything to get it. He becomes progressively isolated until in the end he dies alone.... [tags: literary analysis, critical analysis]
1895 words (5.4 pages)
- A tragic hero can be described as a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering or defeat. In George Orwell's 1984, the protagonist Winston Smith is best described as a tragic hero. 1984 presents an imaginary future world where a totalitarian state controls all aspects of people’s lives. Oceania’s entire population is under totalitarian rule and is completely ignorant to the ideas of freedom of speech, action and thought. Winston Smith lives in a society where everyone must abide by government rules and regulations.... [tags: George Orwell, 1984]
1191 words (3.4 pages)
- Over time, history has given society many to whom we call true heroes. There are many reasons these heroes have been looked up to such as: bravery, dedication, confidence, and inspiration. However, a tragic hero requires a few different qualities. Aristotle describes a tragic hero as a “member of royalty,” someone who “must fall from tremendous good fortune,” and someone who creates pity for him or herself (“Connections: A Theory” 2000). In Greek drama, Sophocles’ Antigone and Euripides’ Medea both contain several possible tragic heroes including Medea, Jason, and Creon.... [tags: Character Development, Analysis]
852 words (2.4 pages)
- When researching heroes of classic literature it is impossible to ignore Achilles from The Iliad by Homer. Starting from the time that his mother Thetis dipped him in the River Styx, making his body practically invincible, it was obvious that the Greeks had a hero in the making (Achilles, 173). His physical strength and persistence to extinguish the Trojan society is untouched by any other figure in mythology (Achilles, 173). In The Iliad Achilles is not only a hero, but a tragic hero who experiences a downfall and realizes that it is a direct result of his actions.... [tags: The Iliad Essays]
1175 words (3.4 pages)
- What is a hero. Is it someone who pulls a drowning child out of a lake or is it someone such as Nelson Mandela who inspires others to be better. I believe it is both. Although the two differ in what makes them a hero, they are still a hero. That being said, when comparing the British characters Beowulf and Sir Gawain, I found that both fit the hero archetype. Beowulf and Sir Gawain will be compared on the hero archetype characteristics of being better than the ordinary man, proving oneself many times, and having a tragic flaw.... [tags: nelson mandela, epic hero]
1865 words (5.3 pages)
- In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet’s self-criticism and his actions demonstrate him not being able to follow in his father’s legacy. Shakespeare proves Hamlet’s villainous image, from his father’s funeral to his death. Hamlet does not gain heroic traits and follow the standard for what it means to carry on his father’s characteristics, becoming trapped in a cycle. The cycle, being the moment when Hamlet shows heroic traits, but then his actions afterwards throws into disarray his title of becoming a hero.... [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, KILL, Courage]
1312 words (3.7 pages)
- Is Macbeth A Tragic Hero Or A Tyrant. Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's most emotive plays, is set in Scotland during the 11th Century and follows the downfall of a man who is led by temptation to mass murder and cruelty. Macbeth, at different stages in the play, demonstrates many of the characteristics of both an evil tyrant and a tragic hero. However, a tragic hero is defined as a great man who falls because of a fatal flaw and Macbeth bests fits this description. Therefore Macbeth fits the role of a tragic hero and not a tyrant.... [tags: Papers]
904 words (2.6 pages)
- Antigone: A Tragic Hero Heroes come in many forms. Some such as immense in size and strength as Hercules, some in the form of people that are shunned upon, such as Harriet Tubman, and some that are only valorous heroes to some, such as Kurt Cobain. These heroes have many characteristics that make people flock to their side and follow them without a thought of hesitation. In Sophocles' Antigone the hero is a women that believes in her heart far stronger than that of her leader's rule. This brings up many characteristics that are shown within her that are also seen in other heroes.... [tags: Sophocles Antigone ]
944 words (2.7 pages)
- Arthur: Tragic Hero or Merely Tragic. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's torrid tale of The Scarlet Letter, Arthur Dimmesdale, a main character, is confronted with a number of circumstances, both in and out of his control, that lead to his ultimate demise. While it can be argued that Arthur is a tragic hero, he lacks the underlying goodness and strength essential for him to fulfill this role. Otherwise, it may be demonstrated that Arthur meets all the criteria as a tragic hero, though there are other discrepancies to be noted.... [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]
1289 words (3.7 pages)