Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart
By: Chinua Achebe

Oedipus Rex
By: Sophocles

Research Paper

By: JoRhon Calhoun
2nd Period


The belief in tragic heroes who posses tragic flaw, which ultimately leads to their downfall

Thesis Statement: The tragic heroes in both books, Okonkwo and Oedipus, contain flaws that lead to their destruction at the end of each story.

I. Tragic Heroes
A. Literary Background
B. Examples
C. Hamartia and anagnorisis

II. Okonkwo
A. Specific Tragic Flaw (Pride)
B. Downfall

III. Oedipus
A. Specific Tragic Flaw (stubbornness)
B. Downfall


Tragic flaws are “the character defect that causes the downfall of the protagonist of a tragedy.” (
20flaw, 4/22/08) It brings the hero to sorrow and ruin. There have been many heroes throughout literature that contain these tragic flaws. The story is usually called a “Tragedy.” For example:

➢ Antony and Cleopatra
➢ Coriolanus
➢ Hamlet
➢ Julius Caesar
➢ King Lear
➢ Macbeth
➢ Othello
➢ Romeo and Juliet

These are English Renaissance Tragedies that were written by William Shakespeare. Tragedies have progressed from the earlier stages of Classical Greek to the modern English stages. During the Greek era, an author by the name of Aristotle created a theory about Tragic heroes.

The philosopher Aristotle theorized in his work Poetics that tragedy results in a catharsis (emotional cleansing) of healing for the audience through their experience of these emotions in response to the suffering of the characters in the drama. He considers it superior when a character passes from good fortune to bad rather than the reverse; at the time, the term "tragedy" was not yet fixed solely on stories with unhappy endings....

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