Tragedy Tragedy is a dramatic narrative in which serious and important actions turn out disastrously for the protagonist, who is also known as the tragic hero. The Tragic Hero The classical tragic hero is a person of great importance to his/her state or culture. He or she is conventionally noble and of a high member/leader, the ruler or an important standing in his/her society. The Tragic Hero The moral health of the state (in this case, the tribe) is dependent on that of its hero, and so the tragic story of the hero and the tragic story of the state are connected. The Tragic Hero Tragic heroes are mixed characters, neither completely good nor bad, yet “better” and “greater” than everyone else in the sense that they are of higher than ordinary moral worth and social significance. The Plot The plot of tragedy traces the rising of the hero, when a disastrous event, also known as reversal, sends him or her from the heights of happiness to the depths of misery. This fall usually comes as a consequence of a tragic flaw in the hero’s character and /or a moral weakness. The fall may also be a product of the hero’s pre-determined destiny or fate. The gods may have prophesized this fall. The hero’s tragic flaw, sometimes in the form of a strong passion (classically, hubris or excessive pride or selfconfidence), may cause the hero to disregard divine law and/or try in vain to escape his/her fate. The Tragic Hero The tragic hero may experience a supreme moment of recognition of the truth of his situation or identity. The tragic hero is supposed to move us to pity because, since he is not an evil man, his misfortune is greater than he deserves. However, his story may also move us to fear or terror because we recognize similar possibilities in ourselves. The Tragic Hero Greek theorist Aristotle also asserts that these feelings of pity and fear are purged through catharsis, which is the moment when an audience is left feeling, not depressed by our hero’s actions but relieved and often left feeling better about ourselves. (Catharsis is the purging of emotions or relieving of emotional tensions.) Okonkwo Analyze Okonkwo as a tragic hero.