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The point is that something tragic happens to one of the characters. Answering yes to all of these questions is a pretty clear sign you have a tragic hero on your hands.Lastly, think about the reason for the character’s downfall.Romeo’s obsessive love is what causes him to kill himself at the thought of Juliet being dead (if he had held out another hour or two, he would’ve been fine).
Do you ever get so connected to a character that it almost physically hurts when the character gets killed off?
For me, it happens all the time when I watch Game of Thrones.
They understand this by the end of the play or novel.
What’s more, they couldn’t have helped what had happened because their flaw—pride, love, etc.—isn’t something they could control.
Aristotle had a lot to say on the subject of tragic heroes, including certain characteristics their stories possess.
Some of these characteristics include some scary-looking Greek words (thanks, Aristotle), but here’s a basic breakdown of what they mean.
You don’t have to watch an HBO series to get this reaction—characters in books can lead to the same feelings.
Whether on screen or in text, many of these characters are what’s known as tragic heroes.
Now that you’re feeling a little more sure about what a tragic hero is, it’s time to start looking for tragic heroes in the literature you’re reading.
Probably the easiest place you’re going to find a tragic hero (but maybe not the easiest to read about) are from William Shakespeare. Pretty much any tragedy he wrote has one, and the tragic hero is typically a title character—Romeo, King Lear, Hamlet, Macbeth … (I’ll give more details about a couple of these later.)But Shakespeare wasn’t the first, last, or only author to use this type of character in literature.