Characteristics of a Shakespearean Tragic Hero (From Aristotle)

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  • He must be a person of some stature or high position such as a king, general, or a nobleman.Characteristics Shakespearean Tragic Hero Characteristics of a Shakespearean Tragic Hero (From Aristotle)
  • He must be basically a good person. He must matter to us and we must see himas a worthwhile person.
  • Because of his position, his actions usually have far reaching effects.
  • He must possess a character trait or quality which under normal circumstances would be a virtue, but which under the special circumstances of the play proves to be a fatal flaw (hamartia- the tragic flaw that leads to his downfall).
  • He usually makes further errors in judgment following his misdeed.
  • Often he has a distorted perception of, or is blind to, reality.
  • He suffers both outwardly (isolation, alienation, attacks) and inwardly (tortured conscience).
  • He must elicit both pity and fear from the audience (catharsis).
  • Usually, he recognizes his mistakes in the end.
  • He must die


St. Rosemary Educational Institution. "Characteristics of a Shakespearean Tragic Hero (From Aristotle)." St. Rosemary Educational Institution, Last Update: 2014. Web. Retrieved on: Wednesday 16th April 2014.

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