chapter  5
23 Pages

Heroic assertion

ByMarlowe, Shakespeare, Seneca, Machiavelli, Ford, Chapman, Webster

There are two principal ways of thinking about the tragic hero; they are found both in Renaissance-Reformation thought and in modern criticism. According to one view the hero is typically selfish and presumptuous. He fails to control his passion as he should, he refuses to accommodate himself to ordinary human standards, he is prepared to harm others to fulfil his own needs. Consequently he suffers in his life and meets an untimely death; a more satisfactory social order is established by the survivors.