Tragic Hero

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Okonkwo as a Tragic Hero According to Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero, the character must be characterized by good and evil, be a man of high birth or stature, the tragic hero must have a hubris surrounding him, must almost always go on a journey, must suffer and have a tragic flaw. It is for this reason that I agree that Okonkwo is a tragic hero.

Okonkwo is a man of honour, courage and success. He is highly regarded by his clansmen and is proud of his achievements. Okonkwo's reputation was known throughout the land and he was surely one of the greatest men of his time. His major flaw is his violence and short-temper. He was terrified to be seen like his father so did not show emotion. The only emotion he would show was aggression. Arrogance led him to kill Ikemefuna and beat his wife when she did not return home to cook dinner for him.

As a reader we are privileged to see the softer side of Okonkwo when we read that he is upset after Ikemefuna's killing and when he takes a liking to his daughter Enzima. Beneath the conceit he is only trying to uphold honour within the tribe.

Okonkwo despises his father who was lazy and had been unable to provide for his family. Unoka was a man who liked flute playing, drinking and feasting and Okonkwo regards these qualities as feminine. He vowed never to become like his father and worked hard to gain a strong reputation. He was only 18 when he defeated Amalinze the Cat and was once the first to bring home a human head. Okonkwo was a wealthy farmer and brave wrestler. His defeats became legendary making Okonkwo a great man of nobility.

Okonkwo has a hubris...