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Tragic Hero (Things Fall Apart) Essay

1014 words - 4 pages

The most common superheroes are perhaps Superman or Batman, but are they tragic heroes? The answer to that is no, what is a tragic hero? Where can one be found? According to Aristotle a tragic hero is a character superior and noble, one who demonstrates great courage and perseverance but, undone because of a tragic personal flaw in their character. A tragic hero can be found in a novel by Chinua Achebe called Things Fall Apart, in the novel Achebe used the Western literary form of tragedy to tell a story of a Nigerian society falling apart. In the novel Things Fall Apart the tragic hero is named Okonkwo, there are many reasons why he is the tragic hero. He is a burly independent man; he displayed his perseverance by out wrestling most of the villagers. Like all tragic heroes Okonkwo has personal and tragic flaws in which brings the fall of the society. Okonkwo's life is dominated by fear, anger, and violence, which indeed are his tragic faults.One of Okonkwo's tragic faults is fear; ""¦ his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness," of becoming exactly like his father whom he truly hates (13). That is an example that shows how his life is subjugated to the life of his father. Another example of the fear in Okonkwo's lifestyle knowing that he has a father like he does, ""¦ he was possessed by the fear of his father's contemptible life and shameful death (18). That is an example of the fear Okonkwo has of dying a shameful death like his father did because he is so infatuated with working so hard to have the most titles and wives to not die a shameful death. Okonkwo hoping to die a well respected death, something that his father Unoka would by no means be able to do. A further example is when the Oracle deciding Ikemefuna's fate that the child must be killed and that Okonkwo is to have nothing to do with it. Okonkwo disobeys the Oracle and, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down.He was afraid of being thought weak (Pg.61).That is an example of Okonkwo showing his fear of being weak because, Okonkwo would goes so far as to disobey the Oracle and kill his son to show that he is not a weak man.As the tragic hero Okonkwo also has a flaw of too much anger in his life. The anger would take over like a plague making Okonkwo irate into brutality. Okonkwo hates his father, Okonkwo hates Unoka because, " Unoka, the grown-up, was a failure" (5). Unoka lives the life of a lazy, sluggish, and lethargic life, which makes Okonkwo angry with his father in such of a degree that Okonkwo would pledge his life to be the exact opposite of Unoka. Second, Okonkwo shows his anger with " a slight stammer and whenever he was angry and could not get his words out quickly enough"¦" (4). That shows...

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