The Qualities of Tragic Hero Essay Example
There are many qualities of a tragic hero, but there are five main qualities that describe a tragic hero perfectly. These qualities are: excessive pride, tragic flaw, experience a downfall, realizes this downfall if his fault, and suffered more than they deserve. Based off of these qualities, Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series best fits the characteristics of a tragic hero.
Immediately in the series, you notice Snape’s excessive pride. Snape is a potions teacher at Hogwarts. He believes that he is one of the best wizards at the school and in the whole wizarding world. He shows pride when Harry first meets him and is showing off how much he knows by asking Harry a bunch of questions, that a first year student would never have learned. He also shows this pride throughout the series by trying to become the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. He believes he is best fit for this job and doesn’t like when someone else gets picked for the DADA job.
If you have ever read the Harry Potter series, you will immediately know Snape’s flaw. His main flaw is that he is a double agent among the wizarding world. He makes everyone think he is working for Voldemort, when his allegiance is with Dumbledore and the “good guys”. This decision to be a double agent slowly tears Snape apart and eventually leads to his death at the end of the story.
As the series progresses, you continue to see Snape’s character. Develop the reader learns about his love for Harry’s mother and that after her death Snape’s main goal is to protect Harry from Voldemort and his death eaters. Because of his choice to protect Harry, the reader will see Snape’s downfall. His downfall is ultimately his death at the end of the last book. Voldemort needs the elder wand, which was previously Dumbledore's. This decision to openly serve Voldemort, but secretly has his loyalty to Dumbledore leads to his death, or his downfall. Snape knows that this decision to go behind the back of voldemort is dangerous but he is willing to risk his life to protect Harry. Snape knows that his downfall is his fault and he is willing to admit it. All he wanted to do was keep Harry safe no matter the cost.
This leads to the last characteristic of a tragic hero, the character suffers more than we deserved. Anyone who has read the Harry Potter series definitely feels bad for Snape when he dies. Snape gets the repetition as the “bad guy” and is just in general a hated character throughout the series. J.K. Rowling purposely makes you hate Snape until right before his death. She does this to make you feel bad for Snape and wants you to feel that he didn’t deserve death. J.K. Rowling does a perfect job of making the reader feel really bad for Snape by revealing how good of a character he was right before his death.
Snape’s development as a character is perfectly represents all of the characteristics for a tragic hero. J.K. Rowling clearly wanted Snape to be represented as a tragic hero, and she did that perfectly. We see Snape’s flaw of being a double agent and his excessive pride eventually lead to his downfall at the end of the series. Snape knows that because of his pride and the choices he would make would eventually lead to his downfall. When he dies and it is revealed that he is a good character, the reader naturally feels bad because you have hated him for so long and now he is gone. All of these characteristics Snape is given makes him perfectly fit the title of “Tragic Hero” better than any other character in the Harry Potter series.