CriticaLink | Aristotle: Poetics | Terms


The Greek word that describes what many people refer to as the "tragic flaw" of the hero of Greek tragedy, hamartia has a complex meaning which includes "sin," "error," "trespass," and "missing the mark" (as in archery–missing the bull's-eye). The "mistake" of the hero has an integral place in the plot of the tragedy. The logic of the hero's descent into misfortune is determined by the nature of his or her particular kind of hamartia.