How Is Okonkwo A Tragic Hero

1121 Words 5 Pages
Sympathy is feeling pity for someone else’s misfortune, but it’s not possible to feel for a despicable person. For example, it is possible to sympathize for a tragic hero because they unintentionally agonize people, but it is not possible to feel compassion for someone who purposefully harms people. This can be seen in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart where Okonkwo is powerfull man in Umuofia, a village in Nigeria in the 19th century. He is a self made man who prides himself on his achievements and affluence. Okonkwo has much success, however that doesn’t make him a good person. He beats his wives and children, he even kills his son, Ikemefuna. Okonkwo is afraid of appearing weak to the other men in the Ibo society. Okonkwo is not a true tragic hero even though his flaw leads to his demise and he has some characteristics of a …show more content…
Okonkwo’s near noble status and his unjust punishment for his crimes give him the qualities of a tragic hero. In addition to having a flaw, tragic heroes are noble and have punishments too great for their crimes. Okonkwo “had taken two titles”. He “had shown incredible prowess… and although he was still young, he was… one of the greatest men of his time”(8). To be well respected in Ibo culture, it is important to have titles. Strength and expertise were valued in the society. Men in the culture idolized Okonkwo due to his success as a farmer and his incredible prowess. Nobility has a higher distinguished rank or an admirable characteristic; Okonkwo is all of these. He has titles which are hard to receive and he admired his fearsomeness. Having titles is comparable to being noble in Ibo society because both make you elite. Okonkwo also faces a punishment that is unreasonable for his

Related Documents