Comparison Between The Tragic Heros Okonkwo And

Hamlet Essay, Research Paper

A Comparison of the Tragic Heroes Hamlet and Okonkwo

As I try to compare Shakespeare s play Hamlet, and Achebe s novel, Things Fall Apart, I realize that the two main characters are very much similar. In each story the main character shows qualities that could make him a hero in his own right. However, since each story has a tragic twist involving these characters, they are more or less considered tragic heroes. At the beginning of both stories the main characters are on top of the world. Okonkwo, the protagonist in Things Fall Apart, is a respectable member of the Ibo culture. Hamlet, the main character in Hamlet, is the prince of Denmark and loved by many. In both stories the reader can definitely see a change in each main character s status. Certain events lead to the total fall of these once respectable men. Even though, they lose everything both characters are considered tragic heroes. Due to the fact that they completed they re mission in life, even if it was death to themselves or to others.

In Things Fall Apart Okonkwo is seen as a big, powerful man and is feared by almost everyone. He was proclaimed the best wrestler in all the nine villages of Umofia; he did this by defeating the previously unbeaten champion of seven years, Amalynze the Cat. In the Ibo culture it is very important to show one s power. If you were a great wrestler, you were a powerful man and no one would argue that fact. It was a great fight, but in the end Okonkwo threw the Cat. (pg.3) Okonkwo was also a very successful man in every other possible way. He had three wives, and the more wives you had the better it was according to society. What drove Okonkwo to be such an important figure in society was his father. His father Unoka was as worthless as they come in the Ibo culture. He had no money, he owed numerous debts that he never paid, and when he finally came across some money he would throw it away on worthless pieces of crap.


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