Tragic Heroes Essay

675 words - 3 pages ✓ Expert Reviewed

The tragic hero is a type of character that many people know. It is a type of character many have seen in films or plays throughout history. Many students in high school will read plays and watch movies with tragic heroes. But many of these high schoolers may never learn what a tragic hero is. Comparing and contrasting tragic heroes such as Dimmesdale to Frome, and Chillingworth to Hamlet along with the definition of a tragic hero will aid in revealing the true nature of tragic heroes as a whole.
A tragic hero has been defined by different people. Aristotle believed the hero in the tragedy should be able to stir up fear or pity in the audience. Aristotle also believed the fortunes of the hero should change from good to bad. A tragic hero will generally have some sort of a flaw. They will also struggle with the idea of whether or not it is fate or free will that controls their destiny. Some tragic heroes have believed a God or gods determined their dismal fate, others have believed the choices they made of their own will decided their fate. Sometimes, at the end, the tragic hero will have some sort of revelation about fate, the gods, or destiny. There are many ways to define a tragic hero; many categories that not all of the heroes must fit in order to be called a tragic hero.
Ethan Frome and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale are two different characters from two different novels, Etahn Frome, and The Scarlet Letter, respectively. Despite being unrelated to each other, Frome and Dimmesdale both have something in common that many tragic heroes have: a specific flaw. In Dimmesdale and Frome's case, both of these men struggle with guilt, and the ability to admit their guilt. Frome feels guilty for himself when he realizes he married Zenobia only so he would not be alone. He then develops feelings for the housekeeper Maddie. Instead of letting his true feelings be revealed, he decides to keep the guilt of those feelings deep...

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