Tragic Heroes. Two men are credited with the definition of differing TRAGIC HEROES. American playwright and essayist, 1915 – 2005 Greek philosopher 384.
Post on 18-Jan-2016
Two men are credited with the definition of differing TRAGIC HEROES. American playwright and essayist, 1915 2005Greek philosopher384 BC 322 BCAristotleandArthur Miller
Aristotelian Tragic Heroes are: Born into nobility Responsible for their own fate Endowed with a tragic flaw Doomed to make a serious error in judgement Eventually, tragic heroes: Fall from great heights or high esteem Realise they have made an irreversible mistake Face and accept death with honour Meet a tragic death For all tragic heroes: The audience is affected by pity and/or fear
Arthur Millers Common Man Tragic Hero Arthur Miller argues that a tragic hero need not be of high social standing. He asserts the value in the common man hero a man with flaws, with meekness. What makes this man a hero is his desire and willingness to fight to maintain his own personal dignity. What makes him relevant to our times is that he exists in everyday life. He is not royalty or rich or on any sort of pedestal from which to fall. He is us. He is every man.
THE SULLIED HERO Many plays idealise the protagonist in an effort to create a person with whom the audience will sympathise. When employed in a tragedy, this strategy also places that character on a pedestal so that, when he or she falls, the fall will be much greater and more heartbreaking. In contrast, Millers protagonist, John Proctor, is not a perfect man. He is flawed from the beginning. However, his fall is still tragic and the audience can relate to his flaws. The common man is flawed and the audience is full of common men.
TRAGEDY AND THE COMMON MAN Miller states that the flaw, or crack in character, for a common man tragic hero is nothing but his inherent unwillingness to remain passive in the face of what he conceives to be a challenge to his dignity. In other words, the hero refuses to give up his place in society and lose his personal pride. He will do anything to keep his good name. (Miller)