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Tragic Flaw

and The Flaw By Phanit Asavanamaung 10B Stories are told in many styles, through different medias; all which are to entertain or educate its audience. Christopher Booker, the author of the book ‘The Seven Basic Plots’, introduces the idea of the seven basics categories of any story told. The seven basic archetypes are Over Coming the Monster, Rags to Riches, The Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Rebirth and Tragedy.

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Tragedy as one of the seven archetypes, are found in any type of stories; from the most recent published novel to the almost forgotten ancient myths of the earth.

Tragedy is mostly used to describe when there is a death in the story, but which the term ‘tragedy’ can also be used to describe when the character has fallen into a lower state. It is better defined when there is a downfall of the main character in the story. In all the stories which are categorized under tragedy, has one thing in common. It is that those characters have a tragic flaw; that influences the character to their downfall. The tragic flaw for each character is different. It is influenced by many factors, such as family and the environment they are exposed to.

These influences lead to the death of the eternal love of Romeo and Juliet, or even the life of a school girl, Alaska; in Looking for Alaska. The tragic flaw of a character is influenced by many factors, leading to the character’s downfall. The tragic flaw could be observed when there is a decision to be made, and the wrong choice is taken. The decision took, is influenced by the characters experience and also the condition that they are in. The experience of the character is from their past, about their families and their environment. This could result a tragic flaw to the character by making a scar to the character mentally.

If the character was poorly treated in their childhood, or have experienced a traumatic event; this could cause a flaw in the character. At times, when the condition of the character is at its worst, the tragic flaw will influence the character’s decision, and which will eventually lead to the downfall of themselves. There are many type of tragic flaws and which a character may develop more than one flaw. By having more flaws, the character will be likely to be influenced by more events, which will make the character to become more vulnerable, in the tragic state.

These flaws could be found since the early myth of Jason, on a quest to find the Golden Fleece, which it also ended up in tragedy. The flaws that are most common are from being treated badly as a child or from being blinded with love. Romeo and Juliet, the famous story of the two ‘star crossed lovers’ of the rivalry between the two families, ending up in tragedy. The reason behind the downfall of the couple is not from the conflict between their families, but it is actually their flaw. According to Chrisxbales papers, it describes the relationship of the two as, ‘are not in love, but in lust’.

There are many flaws between the two characters, combination of immaturity and stubbornness. It could be observed that the two characters rushes into things, such as the first encounter of the two. Romeo says, “If I profane with my unworthiest hand / This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: / My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand / To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. ” (1. 5. 92-95) The statement shows proof of how at first encounter, Romeo decides to ask Juliet for a kiss, even without knowing each other. This is an evidence of immaturity.

Also the two, decides to ignore the advice given from Friar Lawrence, and which they have ended up paying the ultimate price. They also ignore the most obvious of which their relationship is not going to be well, with their family conflict. The main flaw of the Romeo and Juliet is that they are both blinded with love, making them stubborn and immature. The series of events were influenced by the flaw of the two characters, making them ending up in tragedy. Not only could that tragic flaw be observed in classic stories, but also in modern literature.

An example of modern literature would be, Looking for Alaska by John Green. The story is about the life of Miles Halter after he moved to the Culver Creek School. He then narrates of the experience of being with his friends, telling the tragic ending of Alaska Young. Alaska Young was no ordinary school girl, she is the girl who pulls out pranks on everyone and which does all the bad things she is able to do. Once while the group of friends were off smoking, Alaska has stated that,” You guys smoke because it’s fun, but I smoke to die. ” This introduces the first flaw of the character.

She does not love or care about herself, therefore she will make choices which are bad for herself. Later on, it was then told that Alaska Young has a sad past. In her childhood, she has experienced the death of her mother, and which she was blamed by her father of killing her mother. That has created a scar in Alaska, and which she kept on blaming herself on everything that went wrong and that she was failing everyone. She was then found, dead in a car crash attempting to suicide; blaming herself on forgetting her mother’s anniversary.

These were the tragic flaw of the character and which it all started by being mistreated in her childhood. The flaw has taken over the character and influenced her daily act. By not being conscious about what is the best choice for the people around and themselves, they would end up with a problem. By not solving the problem properly, other problem will appear. This will continue, until it has reached its worst such as death or the right decision is made. In conclusion, tragedy always ends up with the downfall of the character, which is caused by their tragic flaw.

It could be seen through the examples of Romeo and Juliet, and the downfall of Alaska, in Looking for Alaska, that it all started from people around them. Families and friends are most influential on what they will grow up to be like. It is where their future and their fate are decided. By being mistreated or taught to behave badly towards others, it can cause a flaw. The flaw will be hidden in the person, until the time when the person is at a traumatic or panicking state.

Each person has a different flaw, and which they may result on developing more than one flaw. As explained, these flaws will influence each person to make a wrong choice. As once stated by Mahatma Ghandi, “Nobody can hurt me without my permission. ” Referring that no one can hurt you, unless you hurt yourself. The quote supports the flaw of the character that it is their own fault that lead to their downfall. In order to reduce the risks of the impact of the flaw of each person, it is important that they are conscious about the decision they are making.

This could make the person to be able to think and choose the better choice for themselves and the people around them. Works Cited Green, John. Looking for Alaska: A Novel. New York: Dutton Children’s, 2005. Print. “Quotes About Hurt. ” (337 Quotes). N. p. , n. d. Web. 02 Mar. 2013. ;http://www. goodreads. com/quotes/tag/hurt;. “Romeo and Juliet’s Tragic Flaws. ” Romeo and Juliet S Tragic Flaws. N. p. , n. d. Web. 02 Mar. 2013. ;