Characteristics of a Shakespearean Tragic Hero (From Aristotle)
- He must be a person of some stature or high position such as a king, general, or a nobleman.
- 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
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