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What is a Tragic Hero? Definition & Examples

It was the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who coined the term “tragic hero.” In essence, a tragic hero is a character (usually the protagonist) who makes a poor decision which leads directly to his/her downfall.

According to Aristotle, a tragic hero has the following characteristics:

  • Hamartia: a tragic flaw that leads to the hero’s downfall.
  • Hubris: excessive pride or self-confidence.

In addition, a tragic hero has the following experiences:

  • Peripeteia: a sudden and unexpected change of fortune.
  • Anagnorisis: a startling discovery which replaces the hero’s ignorance with knowledge.
  • Nemesis: an unavoidable punishment.

Finally, in all tragic stories, the audience/reader experiences catharsis – the releases of a strong feeling of pity – as a result of the tragic hero’s downfall.

Macbeth as a Tragic Hero

Macbeth is a good example of a tragic hero, according to Aristotle’s definition. His hamartia (downfall) is his ambition, and his hubris (excessive self-confidence) leads him to kill King Duncan and, later, to act as a tyrant by killing anyone who threatens his power. Macbeth’s ambition and tyranny directly contribute to his downfall: he is beheaded by Macduff in Act V, Scene VIII.

Romeo as a Tragic Hero 

Romeo, too, is a tragic hero and his impulsiveness is his fatal flaw. He always acts without thinking, as we see when he meets Juliet and when he kills Tybalt in revenge for Mercutio. His impulsiveness leads directly to his downfall (his death) because had he waited instead of vowing to commit suicide, he would have realised that Juliet was not dead at all. As the reader knows, she was just sleeping in the tomb after drinking the Friar’s potion. However, he was so determined to be with her that he committed suicide just moments before she woke up.

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Posted in News, Romeo and Juliet, Study Help

Introducing the QuickLits Guide to Romeo and Juliet

We are super excited to announce the release of the QuickLits Guide to Romeo and Juliet – just in time for your last-minute revision!

Like all the QuickLits guides, Romeo and Juliet is entirely quote-based. It shows you exactly which quotes you need to learn for each scene of the play and, more importantly, exactly how to analyse them! No fuss, no problem!

If you have a Romeo and Juliet exam coming up, don’t wait – get your copy today! Available as a PDF download here, or you can check it out on Amazon.

PS. Don’t forget to check out our tutorial to make sure that you get the most out of your study guide. Happy studying 🙂

Posted in Study Help

How To Use A QuickLits Study Guide: Our Top Tips

So you’ve bought your first QuickLits study guide and you might be wondering how to get the most out of it. Well, don’t worry – we’ve compiled this little tutorial to show you the best ways to use our guides. Whichever guide(s) you’ve bought, we want to make sure that you get the best marks on your English Literature essays and exams!

QuickLits’ Top Tips For Study Success

  • Make sure that you have thoroughly read the text you are studying. Remember that QuickLits guides are quote-based. Unlike other study providers out there, we don’t provide pages and pages of summaries. Once you’ve got the plot down, you’re ready to go!
  • Start with the Cheat Sheet. On the final page of every QuickLits guide, we have created a handy Cheat Sheet, filled with all of the key themes and literary devices for the novel or play. Start here to get a general overview of what is covered in the guide. You can also print out the Cheat Sheet and use it to help with your revision.
  • Search for specific quotes. If you’re looking for help with a particular quote, use the Search function in your PDF reader (press CTRL + F) to help you locate that exact quote.
  • Alternatively, you can also use the Search function to look for quotes relating to a particular theme or literary device. Just search for the one you need.
  • You can also use the QuickLits guide to memorise a quote. Use the Search function to find the quote you want to learn and write it on an index card. Get a friend to test you, or practice writing it out on the back.
  • You can also use this method to learn our quote analysis. Start with an index card and, on one side, write the quote. On the other side, write the analysis. Test yourself until you feel confident.
  • Best of all, our unique method (found only inside the QuickLits guides) teaches you a foolproof way of analysing quotes. So when you’re in an exam situation, don’t forget to use it. Once you’ve mastered the method, you’re ready to tackle any quote, any time.

 

We hope you find these tips useful when using your QuickLits guide(s)! If you haven’t bought one yet, what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out – click here!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Study Help

Exam Motivation Quotes

Here at QuickLits, we know just how stressful exam season can be! But we want you to remember that exam season can be exciting too. We know that sounds like complete s**t, but, seriously, this is your chance to shine! Even better, just think about how great you’ll feel when they’re DONE and you are FREE to enjoy the summer 🙂

And if you’re really not convinced by us, get some inspiration from these quotes 🙂

PS. And remember, exam results don’t define who you are, but sitting exams is one of the best ways to build grit, confidence and determination 🙂

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Posted in Macbeth, Quiz, Study Help

Free Macbeth Revision Quiz

Test your knowledge with our free revision quiz! Answers are revealed at the end of the quiz, along with your test score! Good luck 🙂

 

Didn’t do so well? Need to brush up on your Macbeth knowledge? Don’t worry, QuickLits is here to help! Check out our FREE resources here, or go for gold with our brand-new, instant download, QuickLits Guide to Macbeth!