Courageous and admirable with noble qualities defines a heroine. In Aristotle’s Poetics he describes a tragic hero as a character who is larger than life and through fate and a flaw they destroy themselves. Additionally, Aristotle states excessive pride is the hubris of a tragic hero. The hero is very self-involved; they are blind to their surroundings and commit a tragic action. A tragedy describes a story that evokes sadness and awe, something larger than life. Furthermore, a tragedy of a play results in the destruction of a hero, evoking catharsis and feelings of pity and fear among the audience. Aristotle states, "It should, moreover, imitate actions which excite pity and fear, this being the distinctive mark of tragic imitation." (18)
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Aristotle's example of the perfect tragic hero is Oedipus the King. As a child, Oedipus was given a prophecy that he was going to marry his mother and murder his father. In the story of Oedipus, the King and Queen of Corinth adopt and raise Oedipus. Oedipus eventually leaves Corinth and heads to Thebes in fear the prophecy is true and he would murder his father and marry his mother. On his way to Thebes, Oedipus murders an old man who is in fact King Laius but he is not aware of that. Afterwards, Oedipus goes on the hunt for the murderer of King Laius to save Thebes and punish the murderer. After searching so much for the murderer Oedipus goes through recognition and finds out he killed King Laius, the old man he encountered in the path. King Laius is his biological father and his biological mother is his wife whom he has children with. Oedipus believed he could outwit his fortune by heading to Thebes, however he cannot escape a prophecy. Oedipus curiosity and pride to discover who the murderer is drove him into destruction.
The characteristics Aristotle states about a tragic hero compares to Medea as well. Medea is an honorable princess with knowledge, sorcery and enchantments. Aristotle also states hamartia is an immense error the tragic hero commits leading to horrible consequences. The misfortune of Medea results from her hamartia. In her evil plot she deceives Jason by begging for forgiveness and gains his trust to betray him.