Macbeth And Duddy's Tragic Heroes

964 Words4 Pages
Tragic Heroes A tragic hero is a character in a work of fiction that commits an action or makes a mistake which eventually leads to his or her defeat. According to Aristotle, a tragic hero must have nobleness, hamartia (which means flaw), a reversal of fortune and recognition that their downfall was brought about by their own actions. In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and in Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, the protagonists meet all of these characteristics. Macbeth and Duddy’s hamartia, nemesis, and anagorisis prove that they are tragic heroes in these works of literature. Both Macbeth and Duddy possess flaws in their character, which even includes their ambition. Their ambition leads to their hamartia which…show more content…
Nemesis is a meant punishment or retribution for their deeds or actions. In Macbeth’s case he started to go insane, at his banquet he sees Banquo’s ghost enter and sit down at the table. This startles Macbeth and he becomes horrified, Lady Macbeth has to ask all their guests to leave and blames her husband’s behavior on poor health. Macbeth’s actions also contribute to his wife’s death. After the murders, Lady Macbeth began sleepwalking, with a candle in her hand and appearing to be washing her hands. She became obsessed with the impossibility of cleaning her hands of the blood of the people he husband has murdered. These deep mental disturbances lead to her suicide. Duddy’s actions lead him to his nervous break downs. He experienced days where he didn’t even want to get out of bed; his apartment was trashed and disgusting. His milk had curdled; he spilt a bowl of cereal and orange juice all over the floor. Once, when he woke up, he reached for a newspaper, but orange juice had seeped through the entire paper and got all over his hands. When woke up his fingers were stuck together and instead of getting up to wash them, he licked them dry with infinite care. Duddy had become a wreck, and even after all his work and trying to make something of himself and get land, he was broke and…show more content…
Macbeth’s anagnorisis lead him to his death. He misinterpreted the witches’ prophecy when the apparition said that, “Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth (Shakespeare, IV. I. 86-88). Since the first prophecies came true, Macbeth became very arrogant since he knew that no one could harm or kill him. However, from this the witches gave him false confidence and deceived him because, “Macduff was from his mother’s womb. Untimely ripp’d” (Shakespeare, V. VIII. 19-20). When Macbeth heard this knew he was going to die, and that he should not have listened to everything that the witches had told him because ever since he started listening to them, everything started to go wrong. Duddy also misinterprets something very important that was said to him by his grandpa, Zeyda, “a man without land is nobody” (Richler 49). Duddy took this literally and became obsessive about getting land. By the end of the novel, when Duddy finally gets his land, he realizes that he does not have anyone left to support him or to celebrate with him. He lost both Virgil and Yvette as friends because of his actions. Yvette made it very clear when she said to him, “All we want from you is to be left alone” (Richler 375); even Zeyda turns his back on him because he did not respect what he had done to achieve his
Open Document