Tradgedy 2 Essay Research Paper Foolis HeartsTragedy

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Tradgedy 2 Essay, Research Paper Foolis Hearts Tragedy Essay Oedipus Rex, Macbeth, The Great Gatsby Throughout literary history tragic heroes have managed to deceive everyone but themselves. The tragedy lies in the fact that the they believe they can fool themselves as well as everyone else. Tragic heroes always seem to bring their own downfall upon themselves just when the believe they are invincible. This sense of hubris will bring about the downfall of families, communities and even entire empires. Nowhere in literature is this Hubris more apparent than in Sophocles Oedipus Rex, Shakespeare s Macbeth, and Fitzgerald s The Great Gatsby. These are stories written in very different times, with different social climates and societal expectations, and by authors of very

different backgrounds. The one major quality these three tragedies share is that they are all based on the idea of Hubris, in self deception and perception. There is no tragedy in the expulsion of evil: the tragedy is that this involves the waste of good. (Bradley) The three characters are not evil people, at least not when they are initially introduced, but are caught in a whirlwind of self-promotion. This windstorm is one that is powered not by weather fronts, but the fronts put up by the tragic heroes to portray themselves as worthy. From this storm of deception, out comes the evil and villainous nature of the reasonably good title characters. This is because even if they were fooling the populace they still doubted their own worthiness, due to the fact they, Oedipus, Macbeth

and Gatsby, had not fooled themselves. Their relentless pursuit of perfection corrupted their otherwise good nature. Thus their removal from the position they held was ultimately necessary. It is tragic because they were good, good people and good leaders. The first confident leader is Oedipus. Oedipus had defeated the sphinx and brought order back to Thebes, why then was he was evil? He was evil because he believed that he could fool himself, to escape his fate at his kingdoms expence. This Hubris was so strong that it allowed Oedipus to believe that he could outsmart the gods. This tragic misconception led to the parade of evil that trampled out any and all good that Oedipus was capable of achieving. Macbeth was as capable as Oedipus. Macbeth was the greatest military hero in

King Duncan s court. He had replaced a traitor and taken the robes of a high level Thane. He was a well respected lord of Scotland. His greatest flaw was that he thought he could fool his way into greater power. Macbeth was a good leader but not one fit for the throne. Macbeth was built up by those whom he fooled as the greatest thing to hit Scotland since plaid. He ascended the throne and the evil nature of his aspirations ascended over his good natured charade. Had Macbeth not deceived his way into power, without self-deception, he was poised to do great things, as the Thane of Cawdor. As it was his evil self deception, or lack thereof, proved to be his downfall. Jay Gatsby s downfall comes about for completely different reasons. Gatsby had one reason to build his empire, love.

There is nothing evil about that justification, in fact it makes him the most innocent, if not the only innocent character in Gatsby , and the only innocent of the three title characters. What then is his evil downfall? Simply it is the over glorification of dreams. He built himself up from nothing for Daisy and her love. The tragedy is that the higher he got the more warped his memory of Daisy and their relationship became. He fooled everyone else into thinking that he was a rich socialite, but never himself. He always knew he was a poor boy living a dream for a dream. A dream that was so far from reality that it is evil. It is tragic that Gatsby wasted the good traits, perseverance and work ethic, he needed to build himself for a one way, if not false love. Tragedy discerns a