Essay on Was Billy The Kid a Tragic Hero

1219 Words Apr 1st, 2014 5 Pages
Is Billy The Kid a Tragic Hero? William H. Bonney (born William Henry McCarty, Jr.) was known for his sulky smooth character, his enigmatic hero/outlaw image, and most importantly his treacherous rumored 21 murders. Most commonly and historically known as Billy the Kid, Bonney was born November 1859 in New York City, having moved around numerous times as a young child, and ultimately settling down in the Old American West. Orphaned as a young boy, “The Kid” began hanging around the wrong crowd and eventually on the wrong side of the law. He ended up in the rugged saloons and gangs of the Old West which led to his numerous incarcerations and ultimate death. Bonney had many characteristics; intellectualism, wit, rebelliousness, courage, …show more content…
He stole from established citizens and the nickname “Kid Antrim” came about. His days in the horse thievery world became even more dangerous when he began getting caught. William’s first rumored murder was that of a man named Frank P. Cahill. Some say Cahill’s murder was a cold hard kill, other witnesses call it as just a form of self-defense (Wallis 2007, p. 113). Through his short lived years William was involved in more criminally triggered situations. Numerous escapes, attacks, gambling, and rustling from state to state led William to his ultimate mysterious death. With a $500 bounty over his head, Sherriff Pat Garrett acquired tips to where Billy the Kid may have been lurking. One evening on July 14, 1881, Garrett and his fellow sheriffs went to question Pete Maxwell, an acquaintance of Billy. Later around midnight, Billy entered the residence, not knowing Garrett was looking for him. In the dark Billy whispered, “Quien es?”, Spanish for, “Who is it?”. Recognizing Billy’s voice, Garret shot a fatal blow to Billy’s heart, killing him instantly (Wallis 2007, p. 247). Billy even said himself,
''People thought me bad before, but if ever I should get free, I'll let them know what bad means.'' (Billy the Kid, 1880)
All in all, The Kid’s possessed a great deal of hamartia; treacherous decisions and rocky surroundings partially led to his ultimate downfall. Another characteristic that Aristotle claims is one that makes a tragic

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