Fate and Free Will
A tragic hero is the main character in a tragedy that possesses a flaw within their personality, which leads to his or her final downfall. The tragic figure is often male and a high-ranking individual within the society he or she lives in. The presence of the tragic hero is evident in both Oedipus and Things Fall Apart. The authors of the two books have provided solid evidence that an inflexible person cannot readily accept change. The inability to accept change causes the inflexible individual to suffer inwardly. Eventually, the suffering individual seeks relief by ending their own life. By refusing to change, both Oedipus and Okonkwo fail to live up to their personal standards and those of the community in which they live.
Although the stories were written in different time periods and are from different cultures, the main characters, exhibit similar qualities. Oedipus and Okonkwo’s lives are similar from their childhood into their adulthood. In fact, their childhood’s experiences formed their adult way of existence.
As a young man, Oedipus solved the riddle of the Sphinx and earned fame for saving the city of Corinth. He is given Queen Jocasta’s hand in marriage as a reward. Thus the people revere him for he has saved them from the curse. Okonkwo earns fame as a young warrior because he defeated Amalinzine the cat. He is respected as a worthy warrior. Thus both of these tragic heroes earned honor for respectable acts. They went on to build upon these deeds.
Both of these tragic heroes work toward changing the circumstances of their childhood. Oedipus leaves Corinth in order to avoid the prophecy. He believes that he is the son of King Polybus and Queen Merope. In actuality, he is the son of King Laius and Queen Jocasta. On his way out of town, he kills King Laius. Thus the first part of the prophecy is fulfilled. As an adult, he finds out that his life does fulfill the prophecy.
In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo...