Beowulf Tragic Hero

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Writers are obsessed with the idea of a hero who can perfectly display the values of the society well enough that the story can inspire its audience for centuries. In the epic poem Beowulf, written by an unknown poet, the hero Beowulf embodies the Anglo-Saxon standards so well that the story has been told aloud and read for centuries. The famous Greek play Antigone, written by Sophocles, has also endured the test of time. These stories have endured for many years and still are able to hold an influence over readers today. A large component credited to keeping influence over readers is the use of a tragic hero. Aristotle, a famous Greek philosopher and scientist, believed that a tragic hero should fit a certain criteria in order to be given…show more content…
As was previously stated, Aristotle established a template that a character should fit into to be considered a tragic hero. The first thing a tragic hero should be is someone of noble or higher status who is not purely good or purely evil. According to David L. Simpson, an English professor at DePaul University, this combination of characteristics allows for the audience to both relate to and feel sorrow for the hero when he or she meets their tragic downfall, of which the character seems undeserving due to their positive traits. A tragic hero, as a result of their flaw, or hamartia, will have an absence of judgment and is doomed to fail (Simpson). The hero is inept to see that his or…show more content…
One of the ways he possesses this definition is due to his nobility of character, as well as his balance of positive and negative traits. Creon was a great King of Thebes and he led the people wisely, even in times of terrible tragedy, such as when a traitor came to attack the city. He ruled the city by following the laws and ensuring the peace and safety for his people. Creon “could never stand by silent, watching destruction march against our city [Thebes], putting safety to rout, nor could I [he] ever make that man [Polynices] a friend of mine [his]” (Sophocles lines 207-209). His positive traits are important because without them, his downfall would seem just due to his flaws. Creon’s biggest flaw is his excessive pride, or hubris (Simpson). Creon was unable to see past the laws of his state and listen to the advice and warnings of those around him. His pride was even blinding enough to make him act negatively and ignorantly to his son, Haemon. He felt schooled by his son and was unable to listen to someone his minor (Sophocles 812-814). Creon also had a problem with women having power over him, which may have led to his naïve treatment of Antigone. Creon had flaws, which is an essential component of a tragic hero, and his flaw created a blindness in him that controlled his

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