Tragic Hero: Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader)

 Background of the tragic hero
  The concept of the tragic hero first appeared in ancient Greek tragedies, such as those written by Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 BC - 322BC).

Typically, a tragic hero is a king or leader of high status whose has an inperfection in his character that results in his downfall.

Ultimately, the tragic hero reaches a state of catharsis (which is an emotional breakdown or purification), which typically draws sympathy from the audience.
  tragic hero Anakin Skywalker
Tragic hero Anakin Skywalker
According to Aristotle, the tragic hero must embody four main traits:

Oedipus, pictured above, is another famous tragic hero


1. Nobleness or wisdom (by virtue of birth)

2. Hamartia
 (tragic flaw)

3. Peripetia
(reversal of fortune resulting from the tragic flaw)

4. Catharsis
(an emotional breakdown, and sometimes redemption)

Why Anakin Skywalker is a Tragic Hero

Nobleness or wisdom
Ever since Anakin Skywalker was a young slave boy on the desert world Tatooine, he wanted to help people. He built a protocol droid, C-3PO, with spare parts to help his mother with work around the house. He risked his life in the dangerous Boonta Eve Podrace in order to help a group of outlanders, led by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. All in all, Skywalker had great ambitions to help make the universe a better place, and when Anakin Skywalker was given the rare chance to leave his forsaken homeland and train to become a Jedi, a protector of peace in the galaxy himself, his dreams seemed as attainable as ever.

Tragic Flaw
Anakin's charisma and natural Force ability made him a strong candidate for being a future Jedi leader, and perhaps one of the most powerful and influential beings in the galaxy. But the Jedi restrained him because they saw hints of a fatal flaw in Anakin: fear. Anakin feared for the safety of his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, his wife, Padme Amidala, and also the clone troopers placed under his command.

Reversal of Fortune
As a military leader in the height of war, Skywalker hated and feared seeing his friends and suboordinates die. As a result of the Jedi Council's distrust in Skywalker coupled with the death of his wife Padme Amidala, he became increasing angry and jaded by his grief and passion. Skywalker assumed the name Darth Vader and did in fact become one of the most powerful beings in the universe, but not as a keeper of the peace. Rather ironically, he embodied the evil and corruption he had always vowed to fight.

Catharsis and Redemption
Anakin Skywalker realized his evil doings in Return of the Jedi when, weak and injured from fighting his Jedi son Luke Skywalker, Anakin saved his son's life from certain death at the hands of Anakin's corrupt Master, Emperor Palpatine.

 Appears in the Following Film
  Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Attack of the Clones (2002)
The Phantom Menace (1999)
Return of the Jedi (1983)
Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Star Wars (1977)


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