Essay, Research Paper
Is President Bill Clinton a Tragic character?
A tragic character is someone who is basically good, strong, intelligent, and not a martyr. A tragic character must have good fortune and be successful. A tragic character must also possess a tragic flaw, which in an attribute that would lead to a downfall. The character must also be of great importance or in a position of greatness. The character must have a good conscience, be well liked by the people, and do a job.
Bill Clinton possesses two sides or two different characters. The public Bill Clinton, who was elected twice by the American people, is caring, strong, and creative. He is a leader who feels your pain. The private Bill Clinton, which appeared in the Starr report, is someone entirely different. This side of Clinton is weak, reckless, and decadent. President Clinton’s character perfectly matches the definition of the tragic hero that was formulated by Aristotle. A classic tragic hero is an extraordinary person who is brought down by a tragic flaw or weakness, and his downfall. The concept of hubris, or pride, underlies all tragic flaws. This corresponds to Bill Clinton’s strong sense of invulnerability and denial. Clinton is a very strong person because he got his reputation completely destroyed. His private side got him into a lot of trouble but people view him as being more human because even he made mistakes. People can relate to him easier now because of the mistakes he made. President Clinton easily fits the description of a tragic hero. He has all the characteristics of a tragic hero but doesn’t necessarily possess a tragic flaw because he had no downfall.
Although Clinton was impeached by the House on charges of perjury, as the case moved to the Senate for trial, peoples support for the president grew, making removal from office unlikely. People thought better of the president than they ever had before. Clinton experienced an up rise rather than a downfall. Clinton meets some of the requirements of a tragic character, but not all because he never really had a downfall. Twenty years from now, when all the dust settles, President Clinton will be remembered by the whole world as one of the greatest presidents of this century but not as a tragic character.