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A tragic hero is a literary personality who creates a slip-up of judgment or gets himself into a serious flaw, combined with external forces as well as fate, leads to a tragic outcome. Some of the characteristics associated with a tragic hero include: A flawed personality connected with some goodness though in the end, tragedy befalls him or her. Normally, this tragic flaw results from unwarranted pride. Another characteristic is that the hero is normally the protagonist of the script. Furthermore, he or she is of noble origin or demonstrates wisdom. The hero endures a reversal of his or her tragic fault in judgment.
In “Sonny’s Blues”, the tragic hero is the narrator. He is a successful person who has a wife, a good job and two children. Nonetheless, he is regularly aware of the darker side of Harlem. He recognizes the drug dealing menace near the housing projects, desertion of old homes and the continuous battle his brother has with the world. Apart from worrying about his family’s predicaments, he is concerned with Sonny’s problems which cuts across crime, poverty and drug abuse that has crippled the whole society. The narrator is quite about his troubles. However, this changes when his daughter dies. He believes that he has the responsibility of taking care of Sonny. His constant change of emotions results to hate, which affects the larger society.
On the other hand, Othello as a main character in William Shakespeare’s play is also regarded as a tragic hero. He experiences a variety of tragic flaws. For instance, he is tricked by Lago into believing that Desdemona was having an affair with Cassio. As a result, he is filled with jealousy, which he cannot control. Another instance that qualifies him as a tragic hero is the fact that he fights for Venice people. In the process, he kills Desdemona and eventually, commits suicide. Through his intriguing character and the changes he experiences, Othello is referred to as a tragic hero (Shakespeare 146).