Tragic hero traits - Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
So what is a Tragic Hero anyway? Tragic Hero Background A man cannot become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall. -Aristotle The tragic hero is a man of noble stature. He is not an ordinary man, but a man with outstanding
quality and greatness about him. His own destruction is for a greater cause or principle. Characteristics of a Tragic Hero 1. Noble Background Often (but not always) a member of a royal family, or a higher social class Someone that normal people would look
up to or admire has outstanding qualities 2. Imperfect or human despite noble nature Has outstanding quality or greatness, but audience must identify with him Without imperfections,
downfall would seem unlikely 3. Possesses a Fatal Flaw Also called the Hamartia Traditional fatal flaw is hubris, or excessive pride but there can be many others Flaw ultimately leads to heros downfall,
often death 4. The hero's downfall is partially her/his own fault Downfall is a result of free will/choice, NOT villainy or accident We dont blame the character for the fatal flaw, only the decisions made or actions that result from the flaw.
5. Punishment exceeds the crime May be injured, or may suffer losses of family or fortune Wounds are not entirely deserved 6. The fall is not pure loss Downfall or death is
usually seen as a waste of human potential Suffering always has greater meaning Greater lesson learned Example: John Proctor 1. 2. 3.
4. Noble Background Imperfect Fatal Flaw Causes own downfall 5. Suffers greatly 6. Gains new knowledge
Noble Background John Proctor is a farmer. He is handsome and well regarded in his community. He is not wealthy or noble but honest and respected by his neighbors. Imperfect John Proctor had an affair with Abigail Williams when she was the Proctors
house servant. Proctors wife, Elizabeth, discovered this affair. Proctor sincerely works to improve his icy relationship with his wife, Elizabeth, but she senses that he is still in love with Abigail. Fatal Flaw Lechery Pride Does not want the community to know of his
sin Believes he can handle Abigail Causes own downfall Proctor believes he can keep his lecherous past with Abigail a secret from the community and still save Elizabeth who has been accused of witchcraft by Abigail. He drags Mary Warren to court and she winds up accusing him.
Suffers greatly Proctor is condemned to hang. He is tortured physically and spiritually. For example: The morning of his hanging, Abigail bribes the jailor to let her see Proctor. She has arranged for them to run away together to Boston where they can begin a new life together. Abigail tells him that she has forgiven him for calling her out.
Proctor gives no answer and Abigail flees Gains new knowledge Proctor understands that he has brought a catastrophe to his entire community because of his actions. Essay Topic Choose one of three characters from The Killer Angels: Joshua Chamberlain, James Longstreet, or
Robert E. Lee. Then write a thorough and convincing essay proving that he is a tragic hero. In order to receive full credit, your essay should address at least three of the criteria that must be met in order for a character to be considered a tragic hero. Specific examples from the novel must be used to support your ideas. Your essay must have
A well written intro and conclusion A clear thesis statement An in-depth analysis based on three criteria Creative and convincing arguments Specific and pertinent examples from the novel
to prove your ideas. Direct quotes or paraphrases along with page numbers Introduction Basic structure: Background sentence (The Battle of Gettysburg) (Robert E. Lee was) Thesis statement so what statement?
Road map Sentences outlining the main ideas of your body paragraphs Writing the Perfect Thesis: An Equation TITLE OF THE TEXT (properly underlined if it is
a novel) SPECIFIC ASSERTION LITERARY DEVICE +
(used to focus your essay so it is not too broad) + (creates an entry point for your readers; the so
what?) = The perfect thesis! It does not matter what order these elements go in, as long as they are included Conclusion Basic structure for your conclusion Restate or rephrase your thesis
Summarize (but dont explain) your main ideas Summarize your final thoughts DO NOT end with This was my essay and I hope you enjoyed it or any similar phrase. It is too casual for formal writing. Pop Culture Quest Groups of no more than 3 You may use ONE of the examples I have
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