Okonkwo Tragic Hero Essay

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A tragic hero is a term that describes a character who displays certain characteristics which affect their future significantly. In Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo’s fate as a tragic hero to an extent is greatly true as he portrays hamartia, a fatal flaw, and hubris, excessive pride. Even though the author describes Okonkwo as a hardworking, African farmer, it contradicts his rash decisions following numerous events. Therefore, Okonkwo’s tragedy is true as his fear of weakness and excessive pride lead him to his downfall. Even though Achebe sets Okonkwo to his downfall, it is evident that Okonkwo is a great hero despite his rash behavior and temper. Generally, a tragic hero is born into royalty and has already attained the noble…show more content…
Hubris plays a major role in the downfall of Okonkwo as he invariably shows excessive pride. For example, Okonkwo commits sin against the earth goddess, Ani, by beating his wife during the week of peace. Okonkwo realizes his transgression, yet he purposely continues to sin as he seems to lack fear for the goddess: His first two wives ran out in great alarm pleading with him that it was the sacred week. But Okonkwo was not the man to stop beating somebody half-way through, not even for fear of a goddess. (17) His lack of fear and respect for the goddess causes several catalysts in the story such as partaking in the murder of Ikemefuna. Even though the oracle decrees the death of Ikemefuna, but Okonkwo should not have participated as Ikemefuna looked up to Okonkwo as a father. Since killing a family member is against Ani, Okonkwo has committed another sin which is furthermore developing his downfall. In addition, Okonkwo accidentally kills Ezeudu's sixteen-year-old son. Due to the fact that killing a clansman is a crime against Ani, Okonkwo must atone for it by taking his family along with him during his
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