This is called Ahab as a tragic hero. How Ahab is represented as a tragic hero throughout the novel and how he brings the story into its tragic conclusion.

Essay by qangel2A+, December 2003

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Ahab, one of the key characters in the novel, can be viewed as the protagonist, one who causes the actions that occur and who brings the story to its tragic conclusion. He is seen as the tragic hero. He is a man distinguished by courage and ability, who is admired for his qualities and achievements. The antagonist to Ahab is Moby Dick, the white hale whom Ahab pursues, leading to the death of himself and his crew. He could be viewed as a crazy lunatic. Though crazy as he is, he clearly knows what he wants to do and has a clear plan to do it and carries to out to the end. Ahab can be seen as both tragic hero and crazy lunatic. Ahab may be enable and insane forever but his inherent greatness makes even his destruction more important than the existence of the soar of other.

Though he is working against facing into escapism through fantasy, dreaming, and suicide and suggests that woe and madness are profitable starts for one with enough greatness of the soul.

" .... Grand, ungodly, god-like man, Captain Ahab: doesn't speak much but when he does speak, then you may well listen."(76) We are told by Peleg that he is ".. moody, desperate moddy and savage sometimes."(77) The name Ahab is symbolic and taken from the Bible. Ahab was an evil man having had someone killed so he could be king. Ahab's tempermant is very mean spirted. He no longer finds simple pleasure anymore because of the torment of his ovsession. This is illustrated when he throws his favorite pipe into the sea. The pipe is a symbol of peace and tranquility. We can see ahab as a tormented man; he sufferes in physical and mental pain, and...