Foolis Hearts Tragedy Essay Oedipus Rex, Macbeth, The Great Gatsby Throughout literary history tragic heroes have managed to deceive everyone but themselves. The tragedy lies in the fact that the they believe they can fool themselves as well as everyone else. Tragic heroes always seem to bring their own downfall upon themselves just when the believe they are invincible. This sense of hubris will bring about the downfall of families, communities and even entire empires. Nowhere in literature is this Hubris more apparent than in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, Shakespeare's Macbeth, and Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. These are stories written in very different times, with different social climates and societal expectations, and by authors of very different backgrounds. The one major quality these three tragedies share is that they are all based on the idea of Hubris, in self deception and perception.
"There is no tragedy in the expulsion of evil: the tragedy is that this involves the waste of good."
(Bradley) The three characters are not evil people, at least not when they are initially introduced, but are caught in a whirlwind of self-promotion. This windstorm is one that is powered not by weather fronts, but the fronts put up by the tragic heroes to portray themselves as worthy. From this storm of deception, out comes the evil and villainous nature of the reasonably good title characters. This is because even if they were fooling the populace they still doubted their own worthiness, due to the fact they, Oedipus, Macbeth and Gatsby, had not fooled themselves. Their relentless pursuit of perfection corrupted their otherwise good nature. Thus their removal from the position they held was ultimately necessary. It is tragic because they were good, good people and good leaders.
The first confident leader is Oedipus. Oedipus had defeated...