The Most Tragic of Heroes

828 Words3 Pages
Tragedy, like comedy, is in the eyes of the beholder and what makes a particular fictional character more tragic than another can be argued until the end of time. However, despite this, it seems that an undeniable part of what makes a character tragic is their ability to save themselves from their predicament but, for whatever reason, refuse to do so, thus damning themselves to their wretched fate. Likewise, the more obvious this ability, the more control that a character has over their fate, the more tragic their eventual downfall. Moreover, coupled with the preventable nature of the character’s tragic fate, is this fate’s unpredictability, which causes the audience to, even until the very end, have hope that the tragic character will triumph over their predicament. Furthermore, this is all merged with the ultimate insignificance of the tragic character’s demise and how, despite all their struggles, they are eventually rendered wholly irrelevant and forgotten. Hence, the most tragic of the three protagonists studied is Jay Gatsby because his final fate, compared to that of Willy Loman’s or Macbeth’s is the most unpredictable, had the least impact on society, and, ultimately, was the most avoidable. Unpredictability is key to tragedy. Likewise, both Willy and Macbeth, when compared to Gatsby, severely lack this aspect. For Macbeth, at the start of the play, the use of pathetic fallacy, as well as the direct proclamation of an eventual meeting with three malevolent witches
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