The Tragedy of Richard III is full of common literary elements that are important for students to explore. One of these elements is the tragic hero, a protagonist who seems to be ill-fated, and destined for doom. In this play, while Richard himself admits he is a villain and commits evil acts, he does fit all of the standard attributes of a tragic hero. The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, first articulated the specific attributes or principles of a tragic hero. For the storyboard above, students can use a template to storyboard the qualities that make Richard a tragic hero. The finished product outlines each of Aristotle's principles with a detailed explanation of the specific attributes.
|ATTRIBUTE||DESCRIPTION||Example from Richard III|
|Hamartia||Hero's Flaw that Causes Downfall||Richard is driven by his ambition to become king, regardless of any cost.|
|Hubris||Excessive Pride||Richard thinks he is invincible; he is arrogant and believes that he will successfully sway Lady Anne to marry him, and he will kill everyone in his way to get the crown.|
|Peripeteia||Reversal of Fortune||Buckingham flees to Wales and raises an army against Richard; Richard discovers that the Earl of Richmond is bringing an army against him in a final challenge to the throne. Richard realizes that most of his allies are dead or turned against him.|
|Anagnorisis||Moment of Critical Discovery||Richard is visited by the ghosts of those he’s murdered, and discovers that he is an evil villain who hates himself. For the first time, he is afraid.|
|Nemesis||Fate that Cannot be Avoided||The ghosts predict Richard’s defeat and Richmond’s victory, and the sun refuses to rise. Richard and Richmond meet on the battlefield, where Richard is killed.|
|Catharsis||Audience's Feeling of Pity or Fear After the Hero's Fall||The audience feels a slight pang of pity when Richard realizes how badly he has sinned by killing so many people. He also shows fear at his impending defeat and doom.|
Grade Level 9-10
Difficulty Level 4 (Difficult / Complex)
Type of Assignment Individual
Type of Activity: Tragic HeroCommon Core Standards
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a storyboard that shows how Richard can be considered a tragic hero.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
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