fate • “Our hour is marked and no one can claim a moment of life beyond what fate has predestined.” Napoleon, 19th century • “The best of men cannot defend their fate: the good die early and the bad die late.” Daniel Defoe, 18thcentury • Based on these two quotes—how would you define fate?
The Tragic Hero • Aristotle: "A man cannot become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall." • In Poetics, Aristotle defines the TRAGIC HERO as a noble or virtuous character who has a major flaw and for whom the audience usually feels pity, sympathy, empathy, and compassion. In other words, the hero of a tragedy experiences a change of fortune not from bad to good, but reversely from good to bad (peripeteia). • Typically of noble birth or one who is highly renowned or prosperous • A fatal or tragic flaw that leads to the characters downfall (hamartia) • The hero’s downfall is his own fault and results from free choice, but his misfortune is not wholly deserved. • Leads to increased self-awareness and self-knowledge • Examples: Harvey Dent, Othello/Hamlet/Macbeth/Lear, Anakin Skywalker, ThorinOakenshield • To what extent is Romeo a tragic hero?
homework Tonight, on our turnitin message board, our class will discuss who (or what) is most responsible for the deaths of R&J. You must support your assigned position. • Free Will: Is it the result of the choices of certain characters? Which character is most responsible? • Determinism/Fate: Is it determined by some impersonal force or outside factor? • Tragic Flaw: Is it the result of our hero’s tragic flaw? If so, what is Romeo’s tragic flawand how does it lead to his downfall? A strong response will address previous comments, use concise and relevant textual evidence, and provide insightful close reading of the evidence.