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To what extent is Tess a true tragic heroine Tess of the dUrbervilles follows Tess through the last stages of her life The reader is witness to the starting point of her eventual downfall Alec raping her and the ramifications of that on the rest of her life As the novel progresses the reader learns more about Tess true nature and how her end comes about because of the imposition of conventional values on her by other people Alecs misinterpreting her feelings Angels religious dogmatism and the views of the people Tess interacts with The character of Tess does not change throughout the whole book rather the full understanding of her character is revealed to the reader as the story unfolds The classic notion of a tragic hero occurs throughout the history of literature Shakespeares Macbeth Othello and even Oedipus Rex Essentially a tragic hero is an inherently noble character of great standing who suffers from a fatal flaw be it pride ambition or lust The combination of this fatal flaw and a healthy dose of supernatural intervention results in the downfall of the tragic hero before which he realises his fault Tess is of course a far cry from this description she is but the daughter of the commonest feller in the parish although she does possess many noble characteristics and an almost equal amount of faults Though not as obvious as witches or fairies Hardy suggests throughout the novel that there are greater powers at work manipulating the Tess situation leading her to her doom As opposed to the classic tragedy Tess of the dUrbervilles is a domestic tragedy and is filled with pathos Pathos presents its heroine as isolated by a weakness that appeals to the readers sympathy because it reflects personal experience More often than not a domestic tragedy will contain a pathetic female sacrifice from Clarissa Harlowe to James Diasy Miller In contrast to classical tragedies where
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