Beowulf : A Tragic Hero Essay

1210 Words May 3rd, 2016 null Page
According to, a tragic hero is “a person of noble birth with heroic or potentially heroic qualities (California State University, "trag.hero.htm"). A tragic hero, according to McGraw Hill Online Learning Center, is “a privileged, exalted character of high repute, who, by virtue of a tragic flaw and fate, suffers a fall from glory into suffering” (McGraw Hill Online Learning Center, "Literature"). A tragic hero must have a weakness, usually pride; the hero’s story should arouse fear and empathy; he has to make a very serious decision; and the hero must be physically or spiritually wounded by his experiences, often resulting in his death. To be a tragic hero one must have a weakness, which is normally pride. Beowulf showed his weakness each time he did not fight with a weapon. This honorable act revealed Beowulf’s pride, as well as his weakness (Raffel, Baskin, Beowulf, 1971). Unlike Beowulf, Achilles’ pride revolved around a woman. Achilles’ displayed his weakness when Agamemnon stole Achilles’ prize, Briseis. Achilles would not fight in the Trojan War on Agamemnon’s behalf due to Agamemnon offending Achilles’ pride (Homer, Iliad, Book I, 1990). Although Hector’s pride had been insulted, he still battled in the Trojan War. Hector unveiled his weakness when he did not return behind the wall of Troy, as advised by Priam, when Achilles ran toward Hector to avenge Patroclus’ death (Homer, Iliad, Book XXII, 1990). This battle, although not Hector’s to fight,…

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