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Word Count: 374
The Aristotelian tragic hero is defined as a lifelike person who demonstrates both good and bad qualities through speech and action in a consistent manner Moreover the tragic hero due to a personal error in judgment or tragic flaw is the cause of the tragedy in a play In Jean Racines Phaedra three characters exhibit these characteristics however Phaedra most responsible for the calamity making her the tragic heroine The tragic hero manifests both good and evil characteristics Phaedra the stepmother of Hippolytus demonstrated her poor qualities when she had him banished because she was in love with him and could not carry on with him near her Phaedras cruelness is also revealed when she conspired with Oenone to accuse him first of that which he might charge you with today p 385 implicating Hippolytus instead so that she would not be punished for her incestuous misconduct Phaedra also demonstrated jealousy when she learned that Hippolytus was in love with another proclaiming Aricia must die Her odious house Must once more feel the anger of my spouse p 394 However Phaedra is not completely diabolical because she did show remorse for loving Hippolytus and she accepted that her emotions and actions were ignoble Likewise she confessed her evil deeds to her husband Hear me my lord I have but little time I was the lustful and incestuous one who dared desire your chaste and loyal son p 402 Ultimately she committed suicide because of the guilt she suffered because of dishonor The tragedy in Phaedra is Phaedras suicide Hippolytus being slain by a monster and Theseus and Aricia left in anguish Each character has a tragic flaw or hamartia that carries the plot along Although both Theseus and Hippolytus hamartia expedited the tragic ending it was Phaedras error in judgment that caused the tragedy Theseus would not have exiled his son had it not been for Phaedras malevolent acts Reflecting all of the qualities associated
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