The Tragic Hero Of Achilles, Hector, And Hamlet Essay

The Tragic Hero Of Achilles, Hector, And Hamlet Essay

Length: 1667 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Dictionary.com defines a tragic hero as a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall (“Tragic Hero”). Aristotle defined a tragic hero as a literary character who makes a judgment error that inevitably leads to his own destruction (“English IV Class Discussion”, 2016). A tragic hero must be physically or spiritually wounded by his experiences, often resulting in his death; intelligent so he may learn from his mistakes; have a weakness, usually it is pride; and be faced with a very serious decision that he must make (“Tragic hero as defined by Aristotle”). Achilles, Hector, Beowulf, and Hamlet all exhibit these characteristics and, as a result, can be seen as prime examples of tragic heroes.
To be considered a tragic hero, the hero must be physically or spiritually wounded by his experiences, often resulting in his death. Achilles’ experiences can be seen as a prime example of a hero dying an honorable death. Achilles’ actions fatally wounded Achilles when he fell in love with Priam’s daughter, Polyxena, and ambushed her and her brother. After Achilles killed Troilus, Priam sought revenge for the death of his son. Priam decided to allow Achilles to marry Polyxena in hopes of ending the conflict. Polyxena collaborated with her brother Paris and devised a plan to end the life of Achilles. Polyxena would convince Achilles to make a sacrifice in the temple of Apollo, where the two would celebrate their marriage. Paris would be waiting in the wings with his bow and arrow. As Achilles knelt at the altar, Paris raised his bow and sent a poisoned arrow toward the killer of his brother. With the help of Apollo, the arrow struck the only vulnerable part of Achilles’ body: his heel (Bos,Carole)....


... middle of paper ...


...to plan the murder of King Claudius. Hamlet then decided that he had to wait for the perfect time to kill Claudius. Hamlet had to be sure to kill Claudius when he had not asked for forgiveness (Shakespeare, William).
We have many people in our lives that we would consider to be heroes. Soldiers, firemen, police officers, and paramedics may be the first people that come to mind when we think of a hero; however, we also have many people in our lives that have proven to be unsung heroes. These people may include our family members, our friends, or even the stranger we met at last weekend’s concert. These people can be seen as heroes because they spread kindness. A kind gesture could inspire us to be kind to others and as a result, the world becomes a better place. Therefore, kindness saves the world and the people spreading the kindness can be considered a hero.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Tragic Hero Of Achilles, Hector, And Hamlet Essay

- Dictionary.com defines a tragic hero as a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall (“Tragic Hero”). Aristotle defined a tragic hero as a literary character who makes a judgment error that inevitably leads to his own destruction (“English IV Class Discussion”, 2016). A tragic hero must be physically or spiritually wounded by his experiences, often resulting in his death; intelligent so he may learn from his mistakes; have a weakness, usually it is pride; and be faced with a very serious decision that he must make (“Tragic hero as defined by Aristotle”)....   [tags: Achilles, Trojan War, Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet]

Strong Essays
1667 words (4.8 pages)

The Tragic Heroes Of Beowulf, Achilles, Hector, And Hamlet Essay

- One might wonder what comprises a hero. Courage, passion, confidence, selflessness, and humility are a few characteristics of a hero. According to dictionary.com a hero is a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal ("Hero-Dictionary.com"). Beowulf, Achilles, Hector, and Hamlet are great tragic heroes in literature. Sometimes a hero must travel when called to action. In the story of Beowulf, he went from his home in Geatland to travel to Denmark to help his enemies, the Danes, defeat the creature terrorizing their mead hall....   [tags: Trojan War, Iliad, Achilles, Paris]

Strong Essays
1273 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on The Tragic Hero Of The Iliad, Beowulf And Hamlet

- According to dictionary.com, a tragic hero defines as “a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat” ("tragic hero"). A tragic hero, according to Aristotle, defines as “a literary character who makes a judgment error that inevitably leads to his/her own destruction” (Littrell, Mary). During this past year, I have learned about what it takes to be a tragic hero. I have also learned what it takes to be a hero period. Being a hero, to me, means one’s ability to be willing to die for what they believe in....   [tags: Iliad, Achilles, Trojan War, Greek mythology]

Strong Essays
1595 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Strength Of The Heart : A Tragic Hero

- Strength of the Heart 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....   [tags: Achilles, Iliad, Trojan War, Troy]

Strong Essays
1025 words (2.9 pages)

The Tragic Hero Of Heroes Essay

- Often we wonder what makes a person a hero. Sometimes we think of comic book heroes who perform miraculous feats, or even everyday people such as firefighters, military servicemen, or search and rescue individuals. Our concept of hero originally rose from the Greek philosopher, Aristotle who stated, “A tragic hero can be known to be great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who destined to downfall, suffering, or defeat” (Tragic Hero). To be a tragic hero one must go through so many obstacles and death sentences and never lose faith or be a coward....   [tags: Trojan War, Achilles, Greek mythology, Thetis]

Strong Essays
2316 words (6.6 pages)

The Tragic Hero Of Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay

- Will Hamlet avenge his father’s death. Who killed King Hamlet. Is Hamlet really mad. These are the things that keeps the reader intrigued throughout Hamlet. Throughout Hamlet, the main character, Hamlet, is shown to be the tragic hero of the play. A tragic hero is a literary character who makes a judgement error that inevitably leads to his or her own destruction. A Greek philosopher, by the name of Aristotle, said that any tragic hero must have a tragic flaw. Hamlet is a perfect example of a tragic hero because of the many tragic flaws he has....   [tags: Hamlet, Tragic hero, Characters in Hamlet]

Strong Essays
1546 words (4.4 pages)

Essay about The Tragic Hero Of Hamlet By William Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet '

- William Shakespere 's tragedy of Hamlet is a story of revenge and distress involving Hamlet Jr, the prince of Denmark. The plot of the play focuses on Hamlet 's quest to avenge his father 's death. Hamlet learns that his father did not die accidentally, as the public believed, and that his Uncle Claudius is the one who murdered his father. Claudius then hastily married Hamlet 's mother and became king. Hamlet is an archetypical example of a tragic hero. He starts out as a noble and virtuous character and then confronts challenges that expose his tragic flaws which lead to his downfall....   [tags: Hamlet, KILL, Characters in Hamlet, Tragic hero]

Strong Essays
1310 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on The Tragic Hero Of Hamlet And Oedipus

- "To be, or not to be: that is the question" (Shakespeare 1750). "Human beings have no part in the craft of prophecy" (Sophocles 1582). Both quotes are part of famous plays. Although the plays appear to be completely different they do have some similarities such as containing a tragic hero. A tragic hero is a character that makes a mistake and eventually leads to their defeat. A tragic hero usually contains at least 5 characteristics such as a flaw (hamartia), reversal of fortune (peripetia), character 's actions leads to a reversal, excessive pride, and the character 's fate is greater than what they truly deserved....   [tags: Tragedy, Tragic hero, Mother, Anger]

Strong Essays
1275 words (3.6 pages)

Claudius, the Unorthodox Tragic Hero Essay

- An Aristotelian’s tragic hero is a person of nobility who is ill-fated by a defect - seemingly intertwined with attributes that make him/her prosperous - in his/her character. Usually the protagonist, a tragic hero is commended for his/her honorable traits and is depicted to be the victim in most works of literature. In Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the traditional portrayal of a tragic hero is defied: in lieu of being the victim, the tragic hero becomes the culprit of the play. By instilling the antagonist, King Claudius, with honorable qualities like that of a tragic hero, Shakespeare demonstrates that a person is never at the extreme ends of the moral spectrum but rather at the center:...   [tags: hamlet, shakespeare, tragic hero]

Strong Essays
1362 words (3.9 pages)

Hamlet As An Anti Hero Essay

- William Shakespeare creates the character Hamlet as an anti-hero; a hero with countless flaws and characteristics of an average citizen. Throughout the Tragedy of Hamlet, a connection is created with the audience when exploring both hamartia and peripeteia within Hamlet as an anti-hero. Therefore, to connect with the audience, Shakespeare creates Hamlet as a hero with flaws, allowing for Hamlet to become further recognisable and relatable towards the audience. Shakespeare depicts Hamlet’s hamartia, leading him to travel down the incorrect path, causing his downfall....   [tags: Hamlet, Tragic hero, KILL, Poetics]

Strong Essays
986 words (2.8 pages)