Okonkwo As A Tragic Hero

1526 WordsOct 2, 20177 Pages
In Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, the main character, Okonkwo, serves as a tragic hero. A tragic hero, as defined by Aristotle, is a great character who makes a judgement error that inevitably leads to his or her’s own downfall. By the end of the novel, Okonkwo’s downfall can be seen when he ends up taking his own life. On one hand, some may argue that Okonkwo was merely a victim of fate. On the other hand, others may also argue that Okonkwo was responsible for his own downfall. I believe that Okonkwo, like all tragic heroes, was ultimately responsible for his own death. Okonkwo, as seen in Chapter One on pages 3 to 8, was a man born into the unlucky fate of having a father like Unoka. Unoka was a lazy and incompetent man who died an…show more content…
As stated in Chapter Two on pages 13 to 14, Okonkwo ruled his household with a hand so heavy that his entire family lives in perpetual fear of his fiery temper and impatience. Okonkwo is a very rash person and, when in a fit of rage, does not think about the consequences of his actions, which inadvertently leads him to his own downfall. In committing these actions, it is not ludicrous to believe that Okonkwo will later receive consequences due to the immorality of these actions. An example of when Okonkwo’s actions result in him receiving bad karma can be seen in Chapter Seven on page 61. Okonkwo, afraid of being seen as weak, kills his own son, who he loved. He did this despite being warned and advised by Ezeudu not to. Okonkwo’s fear was more dominant than his love for Ikemefuna - so dominant that it pushed Okonkwo to kill the person who called him father. He was touched by Ikemefuna’s death but cared more about his reputation than his own son’s life. Later, in the funeral of Ezeudu, the consequence of his action can be seen taking place. During the funeral, Okonkwo’s gun explodes and kills Ezeudu’s sixteen year old son, resulting in Okonkwo’s banishment from Umuofia for seven years. This was the turning point of Okonkwo 's life. After having a very high position with a large family and farm as well as multiple titles, Okonkwo is forced to
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