Inrtoduction of the term tragic hero
an exceptional, honourable person of noble birth;
they are good but not perfect and their downfall is a result of injustice;
a tragic hero possess a character flaw which ultimately causes their downfall and becomes fatal to them and those around them;
their punishment far exceeds what they deserve;
The actual definition of the term tragic hero is a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat. The actual definition of the term tragic hero is a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat. The term originated from sacrifice, possibly showing why the tragic hero stories are written - to help and protect us from mistakes, as that is what a sacrifice is.
Acts of loyalty-acts selflessly
More is thy due than more than all can pay” ,act 1 scene 4, by using this line with the line before and creating a rhyming couplet the King reinforces the positive nature of his sentence, that he can never repay Macbeth . The word “due“ indicates that Macbeth has done so much that the king can only give Macbeth what is his by right and not reward him. Whilst the word “all” shows that it would take more than just the king to give “thy due” but everyone. Also, that time Kings were thought to be appointed by god and therefore their will was gods will, so if you went against the king, you went against god. In these lines, the king I criticising himself - shows how much he feels in Macbeths debt. Macbeth then replies to the king “the service and loyalty I owe, in doing it, pays itself.”. This technique could also be called dramatic irpay - where the audience knows something the actors do not.
When Frankenstein discusses ridding disease from the world, chapter 4, the word “selflessly” is not repeated but words like “wealth”, “glory” or “I” are mentioned frequently. The use of the pronoun “I” indicates that he only thinks of what his achievements will do for him, not the people they were intended to help. This serves the reader by showing really how Victor views his work, not to help others but more to attain glory and be remember for his greatness. This lends itself to show that Victor Frankenstein is a very tragic hero, more so than Macbeth, as throughout his story his conscious aim was really selfless and even though he wanted glory more than he wanted to help people, he was still a good person from cover to cover, making his downfall very unjust and his punishment far exceeds what he has done ( both criteria for being a tragic hero ).
Neither of the characters are what they appear here. Macbeth is supposed to be being “loyal” but really he is plotting to overthrow the king and Frankenstein is supposed be being “selfless” but really he is just attempting to create life because of the glory it will bring him. This makes them less of a hero and more of a tragedy as they are both being bad people and have revealed the flaws in their characters.