Romeo as a Tragic Hero

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet


Romeo and Juliet Tragic Hero

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Activity Overview


The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies. It is beneficial for students to understand why is considered so important. One reason is that it contains a tragic hero. This is a protagonist, typically of noble birth, destined for doom. In this play, Romeo clearly fits this description. The famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle, was the first to record the principle attributes of a tragic hero.


ATTRIBUTEDESCRIPTIONExample from Romeo and Juliet
HamartiaFlaw in the Character Romeo's flaw is his impulsive nature. He quickly falls in love and gets in fights.
HubrisExcessive Pride In his pride, Romeo forces Friar Lawrence to marry him and Juliet.
PeripeteiaReversal of Fortune Romeo kills Tybalt, and is banished from Verona.
AnagnorisisA Moment of Critical Discovery "Romeo, I just heard that Juliet of Verona is dead!"
NemesisFate that Cannot be Avoided The false poison that causes Juliet to appear dead, and the real poison that Romeo drinks to kill himself.
CatharsisAudience's Feeling of Pity or Fear After the Hero's Fall The lovers' deaths end the fighting. The families reconcile to the loss of those they love.

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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows how Romeo can be considered a tragic hero.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify events of the play or characteristics of Romeo that fit into Aristotelian attributes of a tragic hero.
  3. Illustrate examples for Hamartia, Hubris, Peripeteia, Anagnorisis, Nemesis, and Catharsis.
  4. Write a short description below each cell that specifically relates Romeo as a tragic hero.

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