Tragic Hero Research Paper
Marina Vaughn Mrs.. Henry English Ill Honors 26 January 2013 Heroism: The Tragic Features F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of novels and short stories, once said, “Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy. ” There is a fine line between a hero and a tragic hero. All heroes emerge from tragedies. A person who presents bravery and courage despite certain circumstances is considered a true hero. Many people have once called someone a hero sometime in their lifetime. Many heroes vary from comics to historic figures, even people in every day life.
On the contrary, nobility, an error in Judgment r a flaw, realization of that flaw, and communal pity are all traits of a tragic hero. Therefore, John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, George Milton from the novel, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, and Mel Gibson all fit the role of tragic heroes in diverse ways. To begin, there was a moment in history where mass hysteria and witchery were present. These times were known as the Salem witch trials. The play, The Crucible represented supernatural times while providing a story of a tragic hero. The Crucible was written as a play in reaction to McCarthy, a controversy in the fifties.
In the McCarthy era, Senator Joseph McCarthy fueled a widespread communist rebellion. Author Arthur Miller, was blacklisted for his work which demoralized McCarthy. The overall tone of the play is hysteria. The setting takes place during the Salem witch trials in a town in Massachusetts. The Crucible provides a story about personal rivalries and flaws. The entire play goes to show that everyone has flaws; it is Just a matter as to how you resolve or recognize them. In addition, John Proctor was a well-respected, noble character. He was a very down-to-earth and straightforward farmer. Proctor, respected and even feared in Salem” (Miller 175). The play portrays him as a moral man who makes many people feel mediocre or sinful. John was known for his mediation skills between the townspeople; he had the talent of making people express their true colors while realizing their errors. Proctor was considered very outspoken and maintained his religious beliefs. Also, John’s morals went against those of hypocrites and liars. Very profound, John Proctor was anything but ordinary compared to the other townspeople. Furthermore, John Proctor has a major flaw throughout The Crucible.
Adultery is intercourse with someone other than a spouse while being married. Back in these times, adultery was completely illegal and its consequences varied from severe punishment to being hung. John Proctor committed adultery with Abigail without realizing the consequences of his actions. Abigail, a compulsive liar, has a controlling desire for John, “l cannot sleep for dreaming’; I cannot dream but I wake and walk about the house as though I’d find you coming’ through some door” (Miller 177). Abigail tries swaying Proctor in order to proceed with the affair they once had.
John admits that he once lusted for Abigail, but no longer wants involvement with her. Proctor now has to redeem his image while being overwhelmed with emotions. Ultimately, Abigail is a complete antagonist, but John Proctor inappropriately gave in and made a critical mistake. As a result, John Proctor’s wife is accused for witchery and is incarcerated. Beforehand, Proctor openly admits to his wife Elizabeth that he did in fact commit adultery with Abigail. Abigail Williams accused Elizabeth in court simply out of envy. “… Vengeance is walking Salem.
We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are Jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law! This warrant’s vengeance; I will not give my wife to vengeance” (Miller 204). Fuming, John recognizes his flaw and knows that it is now his responsibility to save his wife. He attempts to frame Abigail in court but fails when Abigail fakes to be possessed. This proves that Proctor did realize his mistake only for it to backfire on him. A despairing John Proctor did all that could be done to free his wife but ended up paying the final price for her freedom.
Ultimately, society pities Proctor because he dies in honor of his family name. Not only is John accused for witchcraft, but other people in the town who were clearly littlest were as well. John would rather die for his clear reputation than sign his name to lies, “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies” (Miller 240). Also, he is proving to the court that he is willing to sacrifice his life to prevent the innocent townsmen from being hung. John directly admits to committing adultery and no longer wants to consider himself a hypocrite.
This enables him to accept his sins and free himself in a way that determines his overall fate. Preserving his name, Proctor is hanged as his name lives In the novel, Of Mice and Men, two farmers migrate in hopes of living the American dream but are dealt with heartbreaking obstacles. The novel takes place during the Great Depression around the sass. Of Mice and Men provides a story that occurs over three days and focuses on the lives’ of two characters, George and Leonie. Both characters are migrant workers who share a similar dream of owning their own farm. George and Leonie are two, completely different people.
Leonie suffers from a mental disability and George has a hard edge. The two of them take a job at a ranch in hopes of purchasing their own farm. The novel portrays their unique friendship and shows how two diverse people can share a similar desire. A tragic accident occurs on the ranch because of Leonie, which ends up costing them their dream. Of Mice and Men truly renders the impossibility of the American dream through the anguish endured by the characters. Additionally, George Milton is a well-respected character because he follows through with his promise to care after Leonie.
George is the protection that Leonie needs due to Lien’s mental disability. George is Lien’s backbone and Leonie is George’s inner child. Mimi get in trouble. You do bad things and I got to get you out” (Steinbeck 11). George tolerates a lot of the things Leonie does which most people would not be able to tolerate . It is clear that George gets aggravated by Leonie from time to time, but overall enjoys his company because this time period consisted of pure loneliness. People respect George for his understanding mentality especially when times got tough.
Through tragedy and triumph, George has stuck by Leonie no matter the situation. On the contrary, George’s flaw is integrating Leonie into society. George constantly has to cover for Leonie and tell him what to say or do. … You anti goanna say a word. You Jus’ stand there and don’t say nothing. If he finds out what a crazy bastard you are, we won’t get no Job, but if he sees yea work before he hears yea talk, we’re set” (Steinbeck 6). George doesn’t realize that he cannot always control Leonie. Back in this era, society did not accept people who were mentally handicapped.
Consequently, those with mental abilities were institutionalized. Some institutions even tested or did experiments on the mentally disabled. George was fearful of this and never let Leonie leave his side. By never letting Leonie out of his sight, George rough a burden upon himself. Subsequently, George realizes his flaw when Leonie accidentally kills their boss’ daughter in law. George recognizes that he has failed to keep Leonie from doing anything senseless within their society. “l should of knew,’ George hopelessly. ‘l guess maybe way back in my head I did” (Steinbeck 94).
George understood deep down that it would be a struggle incorporating Leonie into the real world, but he did not want him to be sent away. If it weren’t for George, Leonie wouldn’t have freedom, but the boss’ daughter in law would still be living. The death of the boss’ daughter in awe is both George and Lien’s faults because George knew what Leonie was capable of and Leonie did not. Although, what Leonie did was an accident, it was too late for George to come running to the rescue. Given these points, society pities George Milton because he had to kill his best friend.
The death of Leonie resulted in the death of their dream. “Slim said, You Haddam, George. I swear you Haddam. Come on with me” (Steinbeck 107). The boss’s son, Curler, accompanied by an angry mob, was after Leonie. George truly loved Leonie and did not want him to suffer. While trying to find it within himself to pull he trigger, George talks with Leonie about their dream on the farm. The impossibility of their dream is now evident through Lien’s slip-ups with the death of Curlers wife being the final straw. After reading this, society feels pity on George because he ended the life of his best friend.
Moreover, Mel Gibson, famous actor and producer, reveals to society what a tragic hero is. Born from sixth out of eleven children, Mel comes from a big family. Gibson also has eight of his own children. He has produced many projects including sitcoms and movies. He was well known for producing as well as starring in his own movies. Mel Gibson was best known for becoming one of the highest-grossing actors. Aside from this, Mel Gibson has lashed out on society under the effects of alcoholism. On several occasions, Mel has reportedly received a DUD and DID because of his alcoholic addiction.
Slowly but surely, he is trying to redeem himself within society (“Mel Gibson Biff). Nevertheless, Mel Gibson was a well-respected man. Mel was respected for his philanthropy and successes in the film industry. “He was obviously quite touched by the children in Guatemala who need specialized surgeries; we are incredibly grateful or his contribution to Mending Kids International” (Goldberg). Gibson has made an immaculate impact on Mending Kids International, a company that changes the lives of children all over the world by providing surgeries free of charge.
Mel, along with his ex-wife Robin, have donated millions to other charities including Healing the Children, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the El Miramar Basin Project; a project to protect a crucial area in the rainforest’s of Central America. In an interview in 2011, Gibson speaks on philanthropy, “If you take a little time out to think about other people, it’s good. It’s uplifting” (“Mel Gibson, Ex-wife”). Along with his philanthropy, Mel was respected for his role in the film industry. Winning fifteen awards, Gibson is a significant man with many honors. Unfortunately, Mel suffers from alcoholism and a bipolar disorder.
Gibson, age 57, reported that he had started drinking at age thirteen (Callahan). Meld’s self destruction has caused him to lose his place in society. In the year of 1984, Gibson was forbidden to drive for a period of time after causing an accident while intoxicated in Toronto. Mel put his acting career on the back burner in the early ass’s o contemplate his actions. Twenty-two years later, he was arrested yet again for a DUD because he was speeding with alcohol in a vehicle. As Mel was arrested, he lashed out on a police officer and made ludicrous racial comments that offended the entire Jewish community.
Struggling to earn back his substantial role in the film industry, Mel Gibson shamed society in a horrid way. Despite this, Mel Gibson has apologized numerously for his raging tendencies and enrolled in recovery programs as well as self-help meetings. Mel realizes his mistakes shortly after raging on the cop. Gibson has reportedly apologized since the incident with the help of his publicist. “He further apologized for his ‘despicable’ behavior, saying the comments were ‘blurted out in a moment of insanity” (“Gibson Takes First”).
It is clear that Mel said what he said because he was an alcoholic and was not coherent at the time. Putting that in the past, Mel completed self-help meetings and took on a new perspective. In 2007, Mel was admired for complying with the wide-ranging self-help program and went above and beyond to restore himself. Mel is attempting to get back where he left off, when times were different or him. For that matter, Gibson goes from one of Hollywood highest-grossing actors to a divorced man yearning for support.
Within the same year of the incident with the police officer, Meld’s wife, Robin, separated from him and took their youngest kids. Five years had passed and they got legally divorced. Mel claims that the incident with his religious remark had caused him his marriage. Mel Gibson told Vanity Fair, “My life is over. I’m f***deed. Robin’s going to leave me” (Buskins). Unfortunately, what he said would happen, did. The sad thing is that whenever Mel is acting or doing meeting positive with his life it is now going unnoticed because of his daunting past.
Gibson needs the support and fans he once had to urge him to continue on the Journey of full recovery. All in all, when tragedies strike, heroes emerge. A tragic hero is a person of nobility, flaws, and boldness. Many tragic heroes battle with fate and are destined for doom. A tragedy usually reveals the true identity of a hero in various ways; it honors and brings integrity to their name as they idealize their tragedy. John Proctor, in, The Crucible, George Milton, from the novel, Of Mice and Men, and actor Mel Gibson, are all portrayed as tragic heroes within society.