Which Character is the Best Example of a Tragic Hero

Literature shows many tragic hero examples that are nifty to written report. Hither are 17 of them.

A tragic hero is a type of grapheme in literature characterized past heroic or noble traits. Still, the tragic hero somewhen falls victim to a personal tragic or fatal flaw, and that flaw causes the character’south death or loss of position. The tragic hero oft appears in stories that respin the hero’s journey, for case
Breaking Bad
or
The Sopranos.

What Is The Tragic Hero?


The Greek philosopher Aristotle defined the concept of the tragic hero in
Poetics,
and he used five terms to describe this blazon of character. These are:

1.
Anagnorisis:
The moment of realization a grapheme experiences.

ii.
Catharsis:
The feelings of fear or pity a tragedy brings to the audition.

3.
Hamartia:
The fatal flaw.

4.
Hubris:
Excessive pride or airs

5.
Peripeteia:
A reversal of fortune, normally a downward plough

To fit the tragic hero model, a character archetype must:

  • Be of noble or high nascence or hold a position of leadership, e.grand. a prince or princess
  • Have heroic actions or motives, e.g. to save the kingdom
  • Take a tragic flaw, e.thou. thirst for power
  • Suffer a downfall or death due to their tragic flaw e.grand. the downfall of Walter White in Breaking Bad

To understand this grapheme’s role in literature, looking at tragic hero examples tin help. Here are some examples worth studying.

i. Oedipus

In the Greek play
Oedipus Rex
by Aristotle, the title character is, in fact, a tragic hero. In the play, Oedipus suffers from one of the most common tragic flaws the condition of hubris. Information technology is this pride that draws Rex Oedipus down a fatal path.

Oedipus sets out to rid the kingdom of a terrible plague. A prophecy tells him he tin can exercise so if he punishes the human who killed the previous rex. Unbeknownst to him, the previous rex, Laius, was someone he had unknowingly killed many years earlier. He punishes himself by gouging out his own eyes, which ends the plague but shows his tragic catastrophe.

2. Jay Gatsby

In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s
The Not bad Gatsby,

Jay Gatsby is a young millionaire who wants to find Daisy, a woman he loved before going off to war. Sadly, he finds that she is married, and the tale tells how he works to way his life then that he will regain the lass. This unrequited love causes the reader to pity Gatsby, even so it takes him down a tragic path.

Gatsby’s tragic flaw is his unbridled desire to reach the American Dream, including corking wealth and a specific woman. His pursuit of these things causes him to put himself and his love interest in danger. It eventually leads to his death.

3. Romeo Montague

In William Shakespeare’southward play
Romeo and Juliet,
Romeo Montague, the male person protagonist, is an excellent example of a tragic hero. Romeo comes from noble birth and has the tragic flaw of being impulsive and having a fair share of hubris. His fast decisions pb him to marry Juliet after coming together her 24 hours before. Eventually, it leads to his death and the death of his dearest.

Everyone can feel compassion for the star-crossed lovers and how their warring families pull them autonomously, which adds to the fact that he is a tragic hero. The story arouses fear and empathy, which adds to the archetype tragic hero image.

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four. Creon and Antigone

Antigone, another Aristotelian Greek tragedy, has a tragic hero in Creon. He became ruler of Thebes after Oedipus’s sons died in the war, and Creon took the throne. Antigone, the title character, is Oedipus’s girl, and she tries to coffin her blood brother confronting the wishes of Creon.

Antigone’s fatal flaw is non a character flaw, but rather is her fierce dedication to her family unit. Defying Creon’southward orders that her brother non be buried with honor, leading to her martyrdom. Creon is likewise a tragic hero because he loses his extended family and his son due to his excessive pride.

five. Hamlet

Hamlet shows the characteristics of a tragic hero because of his majestic birth and charming personality. His tragic flaw is his deep emotions and his inability to take quick activeness. He also struggles with too much introspection, shown in his many soliloquies. Every bit the story progresses and he dives deeper into insanity, this introspective nature somewhen leads to his demise.

Considering the play
Hamlet
is a Shakespearean tragedy, these grapheme flaws transport Hamlet to a pitiful catastrophe. Not simply does Village himself die, but those closest to him also dice, often at his ain hand as he falls into the depths of insanity.

6. Peter Pan

Non all tragic heroes come from plays and literature you report in high schoolhouse. You tin besides find some in children’due south literature, and Peter Pan is ane case of this. While he is not a “king,” he is the leader of the lost boys, which gives the royalty aspect of the tragic hero to this male child. His tragic flaw is his forgetfulness and his cruelty.

What is the tragedy in Peter Pan? When the other Lost Boys decide to go home with Wendy and abound up, Peter does not. He ends up on the island without his friends or Wendy and her brothers.

7. Macbeth

Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, is yet some other Shakespearean tragic hero. He starts off with someone the audience feels an affinity for, especially when he has the three witches provide the prophecies to him. Yet his appetite, his fatal flaw, pushes him toward murder earlier the prophecies have a chance to come up truthful.

In the terminate, his ambition makes him a murderer. While he becomes king of Scotland every bit a event, his continued violence costs him the throne when his enemy, Mcduff, ends his life.

viii. Anakin Skywalker

In the
Star Wars
universe, Anakin skywalker is a classic tragic hero. His potential is clear when he is introduced to the world as a young boy in the prequels. The force is strong with the boy, and he has a peachy mentor ready to teach him to use information technology well.

Yet the Nighttime Side is out to get the boy and his power, besides. Somewhen, he gives in to the Dark Side and suffers a tragic accident that transforms him into Darth Vadar, one of the almost feared villains in pic history. This transformation eventually costs him his relationship with his children and his life. He is a hero, not only a villain, because he sacrifices himself, in the cease, to save his son Luke from the fatal actions of Emperor Palpatine.

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ix. Severus Snape

Harry Potter himself is the hero of the
Harry Potter
series past J. K. Rowling, only another unexpected hero emerges throughout the tales. Severus Snape appears to be Harry’s enemy at the start of the story, merely he eventually shows a skilful side. His leadership function in the school helps him fit the definition of a tragic hero, and his heroic deportment towards the end of the series show that he is, in fact, a hero.

Severus Snape is specially constructive in this role considering he appears so antagonistic toward the main character. He doesn’t particularly like Harry, but he loved Harry’s mother and promised to protect the male child. Information technology was his beloved for Lily Potter that served as his tragic flaw. Thus, his actions, though they seem cruel at first, were all to protect young Harry. In the end, he dies at the hands of Lord Voldemort, allowing Harry to come out victorious.

x. Othello

Othello, the championship graphic symbol from the Shakespearean play by the same name, is withal some other example of a tragic hero. He is of noble birth, and he suffered tragic flaws of jealousy and insecurity. His jealousy caused him to exist quite suspicious, and his enemy Iago, capitalized on that suspicion.

In the finish, Othello’s jealousy drives him to impale his own wife. He takes his life, as well, making him a classic example of a tragic hero who meets an unwanted demise.

11. Ned Stark

Ned Stark from
Game of Thrones
is a more modern tragic hero example. This grapheme’s tragic flaw is his trust that others are acting from a sense of honour similar he is, when in fact many around him are acting in selfishness. His honorable character tin also exist seen as a tragic flaw, because it is this that pushes him to accuse Joffrey Baratheon of not being the rightful heir to the throne, and that activity leads to his death.

Considering Ned Stark is noble-born, has skillful character, attempts a heroic action, and eventually dies due to his tragic flaw, he is a good case of a tragic hero.

12. Scarlett O’Hara

In
Gone with the Wind
past Margaret Mitchell, the main graphic symbol, Scarlett O’Hara, serves as the tragic hero. Her innocence and coy nature pull in the reader at the starting time of the story, but her tragic flaw, her obsession with Ashley Wilkes, causes her to make many poor choices. Even through her many marriages, she never finds what she feels would brand her truly happy.

The tragedy in Scarlett O’Hara is not the character’s death. Rather, it is her husband, Rhett Butler, walking out of her life for good, leaving her alone.

13. Hester Prynne

In
The Carmine Letter
by Nathaniel Hawthorn, Hester Prynne suffers from peripeteia. When she gets convicted of infidelity, her fortunes reverse, notwithstanding her noble character and loyalty cause her to never reveal her lover’south proper name. This, along with her adulterous human relationship, turn into her fatal flaw and cause her shame and isolation from the community.

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This story creates pity and fear in the audition. It culminates in a reveal of who the real begetter of her child is, and this creates a sense of catharsis.

14. Victor Frankenstein

In
Frankenstein
by Mary Shelley, the character suffers from hubris equally his appetite pushes him to endeavour to conquer decease using science. As he ignores natural order and starts to create his monster, he fails to see the danger he is creating for both himself and his community.

When Frankenstein’south monster starts to kill people, he realizes his fault. The audience has pity for him, but in the finish, he dies as he tries to escape the consequences of his actions and his creation.

15. Dr. Gregory Firm

In the television show
House, Dr. Gregory House is an example of a tragic hero. He has a jaded and pessimistic view, and this creates his fatal flaw of drug habit and refusal to ain his ain personal issues. Yet his wit and compassion go along audiences engaged.

Dissimilar about tragic heroes, Dr. House does not dice in the terminate of the series. He fakes his own death, which creates the feeling of catharsis in the audience, merely the show somewhen reveals that he is, in fact, live. He spends his concluding days traveling the globe with his friend Wilson and abandoning his medical practise.

sixteen. The Tree in The Giving Tree

in Shel Silverstein’s story
The Giving Tree,
the tree serves as the tragic hero. Equally a young boy falls in love with the tree, the tree also loves the male child. Every time he asks for something, she willingly gives it.

Unfortunately, the boy grows upward, and his demands become larger and larger. Eventually, he demands all she has, and she gives it. Her tragic flaw was her love for the boy, and she gives without whatever expectation of return. This eventually leads to her total devastation when the boy wants a boat and she gives up her torso.

17. Elphaba

In
Wicked, both the volume past Gregory Maguire and the play, Elphaba is an example of a tragic hero. She is born with light-green skin, which causes her to be rejected by society, simply she has a stiff amount of idealism. However, this ends upwardly being her tragic flaw, as it forces her into defiance against the status quo.

Even though Elphaba means well, her actions are misconstrued, especially when she stands upwards against the Sorcerer. Eventually, this leads to her decease in the book and her supposed decease in the play. Her defiance did non straight cause her death or nearly death, simply it started the chain of events that turned her into the Wicked Witch of
Wizard of Oz
fame.

If yous similar this article and still want more than examples, check out our guide to movies that follow the hero’s journey.

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Which Character is the Best Example of a Tragic Hero

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