Tragic Hero EssayI've been assigned an essay by my English teacher. I was hoping someone could tell me a few points I should include in it. Any help is greatly appreciated. Here is the prompt:...

Tragic Hero Essay

I've been assigned an essay by my English teacher. I was hoping someone could tell me a few points I should include in it. Any help is greatly appreciated. Here is the prompt: "Aristotle identifies the tragic hero as a character who falls from a lofty position because of a tragic flaw (hamartia)--normally that flaw is pride (hubris). Identify the tragic hero of one of the plays. Analyze the scenes in which the character displays pride and identify the effects that this pride has on the character’s life. How could his/her life have been different if he/she had behaved in a less prideful manner?"

Asked on by willhass

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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I am assuming that you are studying Shakespeare given his plays are by far the most popular among teachers and tragic plays. Another assumption which I will make is that you are examining Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, and/or Othello.

Based upon these assumptions, I would suggest that you examine the way the character's pride affects his downfall.

For example, in Macbeth, Macbeth's ambitious nature far outweighs his sense of good and evil. Therefore, Macbeth's hamartia is certainly his ambitious nature. In order to construct an essay upon the tragic hero and Macbeth, you would need to examine all of the things which make Macbeth a tragic hero.

Outside of that, specific ideas to stick yo would include other characteristics of Aristotle's hero: a great man who, because of his flaw, faces misfortune (limited definition given your teacher's focus lies only upon hamartia).

Since your teacher has outlined the specifics of the essay (Identify the tragic hero of one of the plays. Analyze the scenes in which the character displays pride and identify the effects that this pride has on the character’s life. How could his/her life have been different if he/she had behaved in a less prideful manner?), the format of your essay is simple.

Introduction: Introduce Aristotle's tragic hero characteristics and the character you are focusing upon.

Paragraph 2: Summarize the scene with which you are using to define the character's hamartia using great detail.

Paragraph 3: Choose two or three places where the character's decisions impacted the action of the play and describe in detail.

Paragraph 4: Describe how their life may have been different if hamartia was not involved.

Conclusion: Conclude your essay by restating and bringing your essay full circle.

I hope this helps! Good luck.

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