18th October 2018

Significant Connections

Through determining significant connections across diverse tragic texts, we are able to examine the elements in the genre of the tragedy that are used by different authors. A crucial idea that his shared among many tragic texts is the characteristic of a tragic hero, this forsaken idea known as Hamartia. Tragic texts including Shakespeare’s “King Lear” along with Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator”, Orson Welles’s “Citizen Kane”, and Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby”, show us undoubtedly that through the authors and directors perceptions of the tragic hero, we are easily able to recognize the similarities and differences between the characters. A tragic hero must have many flaws and falls that build the foundation of a tragic hero. Although Aristotle’s approach of a tragedy is all interpreted in distinct ways by the various authors. It’s not that each tragic hero has the same flaw or judgment error, its the use of Hamartia in a tragic hero is why we can see significant connections between these texts.

(Discussion and introduction of lear and how its that Shakespeare use of the characteristic hamartia is strong and relevant in the text. The protagonist’s misperceptions exacerbate his flaw)

Hamartia is the state of “missing the mark” or “falling short of an intended objective”. Shakespeare and many other authors perceived this in different ways in their texts. In the text King lear, Lear illustrates many misjudgments which ironically lead to catastrophic consequences. Lear’s act of committing an error or misperceiving a situation is just one characteristic to builds a tragic hero. As the author, it was Shakespeare’s intention to set Lear as the tragic hero.  The characteristic of hamartia is shown when Lear bestows his wealth and power to divide his kingdom it amongst his daughters.  He poses a competition between his daughters, based on how well they could flatter him with their words. Lear quotes ” Tell me, my daughters, (since now we will divest us both of rule, Interest, and territory, cares of state) Which of you shall we say doth love us most, That we our largest bounty may extend”.  His decision is refused by his favorite daughter Cordelia which shocks him. Lear’s small misconception excel his flaw as he realises his excessive pride have taken over.  The impact of this means that Lear is both confused and angry, in other words, experiencing hamartia. As the tragic hero, we can relate to Lear and what he is experiencing. We have all experienced a misjudgment or error that has led to difficult times. This characteristic of a tragic hero is not only portrayed in written texts it is also to an experience or feeling we have. 

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Hi Jack,

    You are on the right track with this.

    When you come to editing, look closely at some of your vocabulary choices. At times, you have selected a word that doesn’t make sense grammatically.

    Mrs. P

  2. Hi Jack,

    You have a lot of content left to develop during our final four periods of assessment.

    You need to look to better connect your analysis of the character to your chosen evidence and expand your discussion on the function of the tragic hero.

    My above advice about your vocabulary choices still stands.

    Mrs. P


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