Examples Of Tragic Hero In Troy Maxson

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Troy Maxson: Good, Bad or Tragic Hero?
In August Wilson’s play Fences the protagonist, Troy Maxson, is widely considered to be one of the greatest characters of the American stage (Shmoop Editorial Team). He is a very complex man and leaves one wondering is he good, bad or simply a tragic hero? This is not an easy question to answer on the surface, but, reading and analyzing the play points toward the latter. Troy is quite simply bad at being good. “Troy has a clear-cut case of hamartia. This word is commonly translated from the Greek as “tragic flaw”; however, a more direct translation is “missing the mark” (Shmoop Editorial Team). This is a perfect way to describe almost everything he does from banning his son from sports to fathering a
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very dissatisfied with life — and, you know, [with] the position he has been put in because he was a black man in the '50s. So it’s really his anger and bitterness at life 's disappointments that cause him to do the things he does." (Keyes). Troy is tragic because not only does he tell his wife about the affair but his intention to continue it. When Rose asks him if he intends to continue seeing Alberta he says “I can sit up in her house and laugh…..Rose, I can’t give that up” (1061). Toy is not being bad when he tells Rose this…..he honestly believes he has the right to continue the affair and firmly believes Rose should accept it because he provided financially and in his own way emotionally for the family. His honesty is apparent through the play and this is the most profound way he expresses …show more content…
It is easy throughout the play to feel a plethora of emotions toward him; anger, humor, pity. Even though Troy goes about helping Cory in the wrong way, it is still very apparent that in his own broken, tragic way he cares for his son. When the infamous scene plays out about Cory asking his father why he never liked him, Troy ends the conversation with “Don’t you try and go through life worrying about if somebody like you or not. You best be making sure them doing right by you” (1045). This shows that Troy is concerned for his son and wants him to be successful, but, in the way he sees successful….which is very different from Cory’s view of success. Troy’s rocky relationship with his son can be traced back to his own relationship with his father. Troy admits that he despised his father he says he was mean and did not show the kids any love, but, kept his family together from a sense of responsibility. This is a trait that is imbedded deeply into Troy’s own character. He goes to work every day out of a sense of responsibility and provides the basic physical needs for his family but it seems the only one he can show any true affection is Rose. If Troy did not have good qualities to balance the bad ones he would be a bad man that everyone hated. He must have some good qualities however because up until the affair his wife and best friend are very loyal to him and we see them joking and

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