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Word Count: 2,478
In tragedy more specifically in the creation of a tragic hero there are certain standards and structural guidelines by which a playwright or an author is to follow One such standard is the Aristotelian definition of a tragic hero This definition paves the way for a dynamic character who can portray and extremely tragic situation William Shakespeare may have utilized this structural formula to create Macbeth the hero in The Tragedy of Macbeth The intention of this discussion is to prove by breaking down the structure of Aristotles tragic hero and comparing it with the structure of Macbeths attributes in William Shakespeares The Tragedy of Macbeth that the protagonists life parallels that of an Aristotelian tragic hero In his book Poetics Aristotle devises a set of requirements which he feels all tragic heroes should achieve The first quality of an Aristotelian tragic hero is that the hero must be good but not perfect he must be like us in order to gain out sympathy House 481 The hero is a person of higher social standing in essence better than average people yet he still possesses only human characteristics The hero makes a fatal error in judgement that is caused by his fatal flaw or hamartia House 83-97 Then a reversal of ignorance Else 438 takes place in which he experiences a realization and recognition of the events that conspired Barnet 111-112 The play is almost always ended at the complete destruction of the hero either by death or total emotional devastation House 96-97 This allows for the purging of emotions which lies in Aristotles corresponding definition of the tragedy itself The tragedy as Aristotle defines it consists of the following elements A hero of high importance usually someone of nobility and this hero has a hamartia or a fatal flaw There is then a reversal of fate for the protagonist and a catharsis or purging of tension The tragic flaw results in the
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