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The Hero, The Tragic Hero, and The Anti-Hero

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1 The Hero, The Tragic Hero, and The Anti-Hero

2 The Hero Traditionally in literature a hero is a character who possesses a strong moral fiber.  This is a character that seems to always do to right thing, no matter what the situation.  A hero has a strong conviction, is dynamic, and/or has a certain magnetism that draws the reader to him/her.  A hero does not necessarily complete their journey on their own, but they are the central character in the story. A literary hero will complete the traditional Hero Cycle.

3 ADVENTURE THRESHOLD Step 1 The call to adventure
 Step 2 Crossing the Adventure Threshold  Step 3 Supreme Ordeal   Step 4 The Return 

4 LITERARY TRAGEDY "Tragedy is more important than love. Out of all human events, it is tragedy alone that brings people out of their own petty desires and into awareness of other humans' suffering. Tragedy occurs in human lives so that we will learn to reach out and comfort others“ C. S. Lewis.

5 Who defined it? Aristotle in The Poetics

6 How did Aristotle define it?
Literary Tragedy is a representation of serious actions that turn out disastrously for the main character or characters True tragedy elicits PITY & FEAR from the audience PITY because the audience feels sorry for the tragic characters and hates to see them suffer FEAR because the viewers realize that, if circumstances were different, they too could be caught up in a web of tragic events

7 Why do we watch it & read it?
CATHARSIS: a process where the audience purges themselves of pity and fear The spectator is purged as a result of watching the hero fall. This is why we cry during movies!

8 Questions to help you label a literary tragedy:
Do any scenes inspire PITY in you? Do any scenes inspire FEAR in you? Do you feel emotionally purged at the end? Do you feel depressed because of the waste of human life, or perhaps relieved that the tension has ended and order has been restored?

9 The Tragic Hero “The tragic hero prefers death to prudence. The comedian prefers playing tricks to winning. Only the villain really plays to win.” Mason Cooley

10 Aristotle taught. . . that every tragedy involves a central character or characters with whom the audience identifies

11 Tragic heroes generally have four main qualities:
Goodness Only those who are good can arouse pity. Superiority Only characters who are somehow superior or elevated seem tragic in their destruction Tragic Flaw or HAMARTIA Tragic heroes make fatal errors in judgment that contribute to their downfall. Sometimes the flaw is a traditionally admirable quality carried to excess. Tragic Realization Tragic characters perceive, before their fall, how they have contributed to their own destruction

12 Tragic Hero Background
A tragic hero is often used in Shakespearean literature. This model of a hero may not always be a “good guy”. The tragic hero has made its way into more contemporary literature because audiences can relate to them. A tragic hero follows a twelve step pattern. 

13 What Defines Shakespearean Tragedy?
A Tragic Hero  The Tragic Flaw-Hamartia Reversal of Fortune Catharsis Restoration of Social Order –Denouement

14 Tragic Hero Traits The tragic hero is someone we, as an audience, look up to—someone superior. The tragic hero is nearly perfect, and we identify with him/her The hero has one flaw or weakness We call this the ‘tragic flaw’, ‘fatal flaw’, or hamartia

15 Reversal of Fortune  The ‘fatal flaw’ brings the hero down from his/her elevated state. Renaissance audiences were familiar with the ‘wheel of fortune’ or ‘fickle fate’. What goes up, must come down.

16 Catharsis We get the word ‘catharsis’ from Aristotle’s katharsis.
‘Catharsis’ is the audience’s purging of emotions through pity and fear. The spectator is purged as a result of watching the hero fall. This is why we cry during movies!

17 Restoration of Social Order
Tragedies include a private and a public element The play cannot end until society is, once again, at peace. This is why the Tragic Hero often dies!

18 Tragic Hero Pattern Step 1 – A protagonist of high estate
 Step 2 – A tragic flaw in character  Step 3 – Intrusion of time, sense or urgency  Step 4 – Misreading/Rationalizations Step 5 – Murder, exile, alienation of enemies and allies Step 6 – Gradual isolation of Tragic Hero

19 Tragic Hero Pattern Step 7 – Mobilization of opposition
Step 8 – Recognition of tragic flaw, too late Step 9 – Last courageous attempt to restore greatness.  Step 10 – Audience recognizes potential for greatness.  Step 11 – Death of tragic hero. Step 12 – Restoration of order.    

20 The Anti-Hero The concept of an Anti-Hero is often used in darker literature. The Anti-Hero is being used more in modern literature as authors try to portray villains as complex characters An Anti-Hero relates to a reader because the Anti- Hero displays more humanity that a regular Hero. Instead of a standard tragic flaw an Anti-Hero may try to do what is right by using questionable means.

21 Anti-Hero Traits Anti-Heroes can be obnoxious.
Anti-Heroes can be pitiful.  Anti-Heroes can be awkward.  Anti-Heroes can be passive.    

22 Types of Anti-Hero Some Anti-Heroes may be unable to commit to traditional values of society.  This type of Anti-Hero distrusts conventional society. Another type of Anti-Hero cannot “get a break” in life.  He/she will move from one disappointment to another, their efforts always ending in failure. The Anti-hero does not always die at the end of a text

23 Back to the Text Step 1: Get into a group of 5-6 people
Step 2: Assign one person to be the scribe for your group Step 3: Answer the following questions with textual support and analysis from acts 1 and 2 from Othello Who is the Tragic hero? Is there a hero? Is there an anti-hero?

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