Julius Caesar Tragic Hero Essay

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From the infatuated gushing of Romeo and Juliet, to the noble speeches of valor seen in Julius Caesar, tragedies have been portrayed in many different contexts and time periods. Although each is separated in plot and setting, they are all bound together by many unifying traits of their genre. Chief among these is the plight of the tragic hero. As defined by Aristotle, a tragic hero has five core traits: hamartia, peripeteia, anagnorisis, hubris, and a tragic fate. Through these five steps, Aristotelian tragedies tell not the story of a perfect being who is unjustly wronged by a villain, but the story of a nobly flawed hero who catalyzes his own unfortunate fate. In Things Fall Apart and Death of a Salesman, both protagonists walk the path of the…show more content…
Things Fall Apart is makes its home in an obscure West African tribe, in which masculinity reigns supreme. Unsurprisingly, the novel centers around Okonkwo, a man so driven by his fear of being compared to his incompetent father that he becomes the embodiment of manliness. His physical prowess, force of will, and strong conviction all propel him to the top of his societal ladder, and he enjoys wealth and respect. Despite this, his tragic flaw is shown from an early point, as his masculine drive often compels him to act brutal, and beat his wives and children. He is shown to be intelligent, prideful, and noble, but flawed, as any tragic hero should be. Okonkwo’s serious decision takes place when the village elders decide that his adopted son should die. Despite warnings from an elder, Ezuedu, not to have a hand in his son’s death, Okonkwo’s instinct to appear strong drives him to make a horrible mistake. “He heard Ikemefuna cry, ‘My father, they have killed me!,’ as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (Achebe 61). This error in judgment revolves around the same virtue that has given Okonkwo fame and prestige in his village; his

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