Discuss Aristotle's Concept of Tragic Hero.


Aristotle's Concept of Tragic Hero.- Literature Xpres

Aristotle expounds the characteristics of an ideal tragic hero in the light o tragedy the function of tragedy. The function of tragedy to arouse the emotions of pity and fear. About the tragic hero Aristotle says, the tragic hero has some frailty or error in judgement) as a result of which he moves from happiness to and ultimately dies, but he is neither villainous nor exceptionally virtuous. In Poetics Aristotle says that, "This is the sort of man who is not Conspicuous for virtue and justice, and whose fall into misery is not due to vice and depravity, but rather to some error, a man who enjoys prosperity and a high reputation, like Oedipus and Thystes and other famous members of families like theirs."

Thus, Hamartia is an error which may arise in three ways—

(i)                  Hamartia may arise from ignorance of some material fact or circumstance. Hamartia is accompanied by many moral imperfections, but is not in itself a moral imperfection. For example, Oedipus is ignorant of the fact that he has killed his father and married his mother.

(ii)                Hamartia may arise from a hasty or careless view of a given situation. In this case the error was avoidable but the hero does not avoid it. For example, Othello had all the opportunities to know the circumstances fully, but he took a hasty and careless view of the whole situation and so committed an error of judgement.

(iii)               Hamartia may be an error of judgement committed voluntarily, but not deliberately: This happens in an act of anger or passion. Such an error is committed by Lear, when, in the fit of anger and passion, he banishes Cordelia.

On the whole Aristotle's concept of the tragic hero is not unacceptable. in some ways he has a limited vision. Tragedy Is 'possible with saints, as Shaw and Eliot have shown. Tragedy is also possible with a villainous hero like Macbeth. The chief limitation of Aristotle's concept is that it is based on one section of world drama.

Discuss Aristotle's Concept of Tragic Hero. Discuss Aristotle's Concept of Tragic Hero. Reviewed by Literature Xpress on Saturday, November 10, 2018 Rating: 5

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