Themes Of Greek Tragedy And Heroism Essay

1040 Words 5 Pages
In Miguel de Unamuno’s novella San Manuel Bueno, Martyr, readers learn about the life of Don Manuel, a Catholic priest secretly holding atheist beliefs and doubts about the afterlife. Despite these beliefs, Don Manuel works tirelessly to help his community and is regarded as a saint by all who meet him, hence the handle “San Manuel,” which literally translates to “Saint Manuel.” Don Manuel’s struggle and affiliation with sainthood receives further analysis and context from Francisco LaRubia-Prado, who parallels Unamuno’s novella to elements of Greek Tragedy and heroism. Drawing from Unamuno’s background with Ancient Greek playwriting and Sigmund Freud’s Totem and Taboo, LaRubia-Prado argues that Don Manuel should be seen as a representation of Christ and must suffer in silence in order to play the role of the dying, tragic hero that saves the villagers or in the case of Greek Tragedy, the chorus. However, despite San Manuel Bueno, Martyr’s many similarities to elements of Greek Tragedy, one should also consider the novella beyond its relationship to tragedy and heroism to more fully explore Unamuno’s intentions for the story. In order to do this, it is necessary to first explore Greek Tragedy and its relationship to the novella, later noting Unamuno’s background and other philosophical and literary works as they pertain to the San Manuel Bueno, Martyr.
To fully discuss Don Manuel as a tragic hero, one must first understand the purpose and elements of Greek Tragedy. As a…

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