[PDF Notes] Short note on the chief character hero, of the Heroic plays

Since the function of tragedy was to arouse admiration, the hero must be one who had no conceivable frailty, and who existed only to arouse wonder and admiration. This could not be the case if he had a “tragic flaw”.

The character of the hero was thus heightened to an incredible extent, and he was made perfect and invincible. He was invariably presented as a superman, acknowledging no power above his own. Even Fate or Destiny was a play thing in his hands; he was the maker of his own fate and circumstances.

To invest him with a gigantic stature, he was placed in a high social rank. “No heroes of any tragedy were ever so renowned and illustrious as the heroes of this period.” It was an age which believed in the Divine Right of Kings, and so greatness was tied to rank and birth. More often than not, he was a king, a king of kings.

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