The tragic hero can be used as either a protagonist or antagonist. In both instances, the audience feels a degree of sympathy for the character. The protagonist usually shows some remorse at having to defeat the tragic hero antagonist. The Tragic Hero
The tragic hero can be used as either a protagonist or antagonist. It’s required for Tragic Hero’s punishment to be severe. Oftentimes, the protagonists end up suffering immense physical and/or emotional pain. (Prometheus) Many pay the ultimate price and end up dead. (Romeo & Juliet) The Tragic Hero
The tragic hero is a literary element that can be traced back to ancient Greece and is still used today. Many of the characters of Greek Mythology can be classified as tragic heroes: Prometheus, Helen of Troy, and Hades Video games and movies also make use of the format as well. Kratos in God of War & Andrew Ryan in Bioshock Michael Corleone in The Godfather The Tragic Hero
Recipe for a Tragic Hero: Aristotle stated that a good tragedy needs a hero who audience can empathize with. It takes real-life situations to the extreme. The hero is destroyed by a flaw (hamartia) of personality that any person could have: lust, greed, hubris, ambition, anger, fear, etc... The hero must be involved in a irreversible incident between the hero and someone they are close to. It can be done on purpose It can be done by accident It can be something hero is supposed to do but can’t follow through It can be stopped at the last second exposing the hero The Tragic Hero
The tragic hero must be at least partly to blame for his/her own fall from grace. It’s usually a combination of outside forces and the hero’s own choices. Outside forces could include any combination of supernatural elements, family members, lovers, friends, or enemies. In order for the audience to empathize with the hero and feel some shared feeling of catharsis: At some point, the hero has to realize they’ve made a terrible mistake. The character experiences a peripeteia (reversal of fortune) The punishment has to be severe. –that’s why most of them end up dead. The Tragic Hero
In order to elicit empathy from the audience, the story often makes great use of dramatic irony. The audience knows things the hero does not. Romeo thinks Juliet is dead, but the reader knows she is just under the influence of a sleeping potion.