Tragic Hero (Things Fall Apart)

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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The most common superheroes are perhaps Superman or Batman, but are they tragic heroes? The answer to that is no, what is a tragic hero? Where can one be found? According to Aristotle a tragic hero is a character superior and noble, one who demonstrates great courage and perseverance but, undone because of a tragic personal flaw in their character. A tragic hero can be found in a novel by Chinua Achebe called Things Fall Apart, in the novel Achebe used the Western literary form of tragedy to tell a story of a Nigerian society falling apart. In the novel Things Fall Apart the tragic hero is named Okonkwo, there are many reasons why he is the tragic hero. He is a burly independent man; he displayed his perseverance by out wrestling most of the villagers. Like all tragic heroes Okonkwo has personal and tragic flaws in which brings the fall of the society.

Okonkwo's life is dominated by fear, anger, and violence, which indeed are his tragic faults.

One of Okonkwo's tragic faults is fear; ""¦ his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness,"� of becoming exactly like his father whom he truly hates (13). That is an example that shows how his life is subjugated to the life of his father. Another example of the fear in Okonkwo's lifestyle knowing that he has a father like he does, ""¦ he was possessed by the fear of his father's contemptible life and shameful death (18). That is an example of the fear Okonkwo has of dying a shameful death like his father did because he is so infatuated with working so hard to have the most titles and wives to not die a shameful death. Okonkwo hoping to...