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Word Count: 719
Consider the Aristotelian tragedy It has yet to go the way of Eddie Bauer In Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe devised a tragic African hero in Okonkwo consistent with the classic stipulations of the figure Thus the novel--to its greatest practicable extentinherently existed as a tragedy on all levels to accommodate Okonkwo To illustrate this I will dissect and analyze the many factors that make Things Fall Apart an exemplary model of Greek tragedy by Aristotles own towering ideals First and foremost the tragic hero must be of noble stature occupying a high position within the community innately embodying virtue and majesty Okonkwo distinguished himself as an exceptional wrestler defeating Amalinze the Catwho had not been defeated in seven yearsand winning thus a reputation as a manly figure In his family compound Okonkwo lives in a hut of his own and each of his three wives lives in a hut of her own with her children The prosperous compound also includes an enclosure with stacks of yams sheds for goats and hens and a medicine house where Okonkwo keeps the symbols of his personal god and ancestral spirits and where he offers prayers for his and his family Though the hero may be great he may not be perfect We must be able to identify with him seeing him perhaps in others or ourselves Having a notoriously short temper and an infamously wasteful father rendered Okonkwo imperfect one who has problems and a past like everyone else The heros downfall therefore is partially his own fault the result of free choice not of accident or villainy or some overriding malignant fate In fact the tragedy is usually triggered by some error of judgment or some character flaw that contributes to the heros lack of perfection noted above This error of judgment or character flaw is known as hamartia and is usually albeit hesitantly translated as tragic flaw Often the characters hamartia involves hubris
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