English Literature » Notes » Discuss Aristotle’s concept of a tragic hero

Discuss Aristotle’s concept of a tragic hero

The ‘term’ hero is derived from a Greek word ‘heros’ that means a person who faces adversity or demonstrates courage in the face of danger. However, sometimes he faces downfall as well. When a hero confronts downfall, he is recognized` as a tragic hero or protagonist. Aristotle says, the tragic hero has some frailties or errors in judgement as a result of which he moves from happiness to misery, and ultimately dies, but he is neither villainous nor virtuous. In ‘Poetics’, Aristotle says about tragic hero that is-

This is the sort of man who is not conspicuous for virtue and justice, and whose fall into misery is not due to vice and depravity, but rather to some errors, a man who enjoys prosperity and high reputation, like Oedipus and Thystes and other famous members of families like theirs.

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