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tragic hero

a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat:
Oedipus, the classic tragic hero. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for tragic hero
Historical Examples
  • He feels himself a tragic hero, a man who has suffered deeply.

    Dear Enemy Jean Webster
  • It is like the passion with which a tragic hero wholly identifies himself, and which bears him on to his doom.

    Shakespearean Tragedy A. C. Bradley
  • The tragic hero is the man of innate nobleness who yet has some one defect that lays him open to ruin.

Contemporary definitions for tragic hero

a literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy's 21st Century Lexicon
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