The three elements of the tragic hero we incorporated into our play are hamartia, hubris, and catharsis. A tragic hero is a character who makes an error in judgment which ultimately leads to his or her downfall. Hamartia is the tragic flaw or error of judgment which causes the downfall of the tragic hero. On the other hand, hubris is the excessive pride or disrespect the tragic hero has for natural order. Lastly, catharsis are the feelings of fear and pity the audience experience for the tragic hero as a result of his or her actions.
Paul Walker exhibits the element of hamartia when he encourages his business partner and friend, Roger Rodas, to drive incredibly fast on the road. Walker, besides being in a rush to get home, exhibits a strong desire to experience the thrill of freedom associated with driving at high speeds. Walker antagonizes his friend, saying that Rodas drives “like a grandma”. Walker, an experienced driver who participated in auto shows and in car races, thinks that just because no one else is on the road that it is appropriate for his friend to drive at maximum speeds. He continues to push his friend to drive as fast as one-hundred miles per hour. However, it is not long before Rodas can no longer control the car, resulting in the horr...
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...m pressuring his friend to drive faster and breaking the rules of the road.
The element of catharsis is also incorporated into the one-act play, as the audience feels great fear in the moments leading up to the crash. While Walker is unable to see how driving at one-hundred miles per hour on a residential road is incredibly dangerous, the audience is aware of the effects of driving well above the speed limit. The audience is left on the edge of their seats as Walker continues to pressure Rodas to drive even faster and as Rodas obeys. When Rodas loses control of the car, the audience fears that the two of them may crash and possibly get injured or die. The audience may also fear that pedestrians may be hurt as a result of the crash. The sound effects allow the audience to establish this fear, as the audience can hear the sounds of the car speeding up and of the crash.
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