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Tragic Heroes

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It's not her fault. She's programmed with the most tragic back-story ever.
~ Kohut on Sergeant Calhoun
The tragic heroes are part of a longstanding literary concept; these are characters with fatal flaw (like pride, for example) who is doomed to fail in search of their goals despite their best efforts or good intentions.

They are often not in full control of their actions/emotions and hence the reader/viewer can sympathize with them due to them not being alone by choice, but rather by them being (for the most part) a victim of circumstance. In an common breeder, these misfortunes can also cause these heroes to lose everyone they love and/or have every dream unfulfilled and broken is the most realistic way to turn a God Amongst Men into a pathetic crying wreck. In fact, they suffer from many parts including:

  1. The hero perseveres over the trials of life, rises above it and becomes a better person for it all. This tragic hero is the Iron Woobie.
  2. The protagonist throws off his hero mantle, tramples it, and in a cold rush of unrelenting cynicism becomes a villain just as bad, if not worse, than the antagonist. This tragic hero is the Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
  3. The hero curls into a figurative or literal catatonic ball in a cold dark corner, then proceeds to give up on life and the world. This tragic hero is the part of Despair Event Horizon.
  4. The character goes out in a blaze of bloodthirsty rage realizing that the best way out is by taking it out on everyone. This tragic hero is part of Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  5. The character loses their sense of idealism, but not their morality. Most Anti Heroes who started out as an Ideal Hero are Type E. This hero is the Knight in Sour Armor.
  6. An rarest type: this character just shrug their shoulders at the Deus Angst Machina. No lessons are learned nor does the character behave differently. All that's changed is that the character now sleeps in a cardboard box and eats out of dumpsters. This tragic hero has a dissonant serenity even in the most dire of situations.
  7. Somewhere between the Despair Event Horizon and unbreakable resolve of the Iron Woobie is a common middle ground, where the survivor is clearly damaged by the ordeal, but is not lost completely or rendered insane (and thus has hope of recovery to Type A). This tragic hero is the Woobie.

These characters are not to be confused with byronic heroes, who are charismatic characters with strong passions and beliefs, yet are nonetheless deeply flawed individuals. Maybe like Hisham

This term has been taken from TV tropes. For more information, see the original article.

Pages in category "Tragic Heroes"

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