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QuickLits’ Top Tips For Study Success
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It was the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who coined the term “tragic hero.” In essence, a tragic hero is a character (usually the protagonist) who makes a poor decision which leads directly to his/her downfall.
According to Aristotle, a tragic hero has the following characteristics:
Hamartia: a tragic flaw that leads to the hero’s downfall.
Hubris: excessive pride or self-confidence.
In addition, a tragic hero has the following experiences:
Peripeteia: a sudden and unexpected change of fortune.
Anagnorisis: a startling discovery which replaces the hero’s ignorance with knowledge.
Nemesis: an unavoidable punishment.
Finally, in all tragic stories, the audience/reader experiences catharsis – the releases of a strong feeling of pity – as a result of the tragic hero’s downfall.
Macbeth as a Tragic Hero
Macbeth is a good example of a tragic hero, according to Aristotle’s definition. His hamartia (downfall) is his ambition, and his hubris (excessive self-confidence) leads him to kill King Duncan and, later, to act as a tyrant by killing anyone who threatens his power. Macbeth’s ambition and tyranny directly contribute to his downfall: he is beheaded by Macduff in Act V, Scene VIII.
Romeo as a Tragic Hero
Romeo, too, is a tragic hero and his impulsiveness is his fatal flaw. He always acts without thinking, as we see when he meets Juliet and when he kills Tybalt in revenge for Mercutio. His impulsiveness leads directly to his downfall (his death) because had he waited instead of vowing to commit suicide, he would have realised that Juliet was not dead at all. As the reader knows, she was just sleeping in the tomb after drinking the Friar’s potion. However, he was so determined to be with her that he committed suicide just moments before she woke up.
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Don’t forget that our Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet study guides are available in our Shop
We are super excited to announce the release of the QuickLits Guide to Romeo and Juliet – just in time for your last-minute revision!
Like all the QuickLits guides, Romeo and Juliet is entirely quote-based. It shows you exactly which quotes you need to learn for each scene of the play and, more importantly, exactly how to analyse them! No fuss, no problem!
If you have a Romeo and Juliet exam coming up, don’t wait – get your copy today! Available as a PDF download here, or you can check it out on Amazon.
PS. Don’t forget to check out our tutorial to make sure that you get the most out of your study guide. Happy studying 🙂
Here at QuickLits, we know just how stressful exam season can be! But we want you to remember that exam season can be exciting too. We know that sounds like complete s**t, but, seriously, this is your chance to shine! Even better, just think about how great you’ll feel when they’re DONE and you are FREE to enjoy the summer 🙂
And if you’re really not convinced by us, get some inspiration from these quotes 🙂
PS. And remember, exam results don’t define who you are, but sitting exams is one of the best ways to build grit, confidence and determination 🙂
Didn’t do so well? Need to brush up on your Macbeth knowledge? Don’t worry, QuickLits is here to help! Check out our FREE resources here, or go for gold with our brand-new, instant download, QuickLits Guide to Macbeth!