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Tragic Heroes Essay

  • Submitted by: reedhos
  • on March 18, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,459 words

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Below is an essay on "Tragic Heroes" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Hector: A Tragic Hero
Who are some characters that perfectly represent what a tragic hero is? Hector, in the The Iliad by Homer, is the embodiment of a true tragic hero. Some criteria of a tragic hero include that supernatural beings interact with the character, the character’s death or downfall is caused by a fault in his/her decisions, the character is of noble birth, and the character’s suffering/punishment is disproportionate and undeserved. Hector fits all of these characteristics and many of the others that describe a tragic hero. Hector, in the The Iliad, is a perfect example of a tragic hero because supernatural beings interact with him, his suffering at the end of the epic is not completely deserved and cruelly disproportionate, and he makes an error in his actions that leads to his eventual downfall and death. (http://vccslitonline.cc.va.us/tragedy/aristotle.htm)
In The Iliad, supernatural beings interact with Hector which shows that he fits a characteristic of a tragic hero. During the epic, the gods interact with Hector multiple times. Some examples include when Athena disguised herself as one of Hector’s brothers in order to make him fight Achilles and stop running, and when Zeus gave Hector superhuman powers so he could destroy the Greek army. In the epic, Athena said,
Now you and I will win, my splendid Achilles! Now I hope we shall bring great glory to our camp before the Achaian nation, by destroying Hector, for all his insatiable courage. Now there is no chance that he can escape, not if Apollo Shootafar should fume and fret and roll over and over on the ground before Zeus Almighty! Rest and take breath, and I will go and persuade the man to stand up to you. (Homer 259-260)

This quote shows how in the epic Athena said she would trick and persuade Hector so he would finally fight Achilles. She did this by transforming herself to look like Hector’s brother, and making him think that she would help him fight Achilles. Hector, thinking that...

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