Fatal Flaw

 Hamartia is a word most famously used in Poetics, where it is usually translated as a mistake or error in judgment. In modern discussions of tragedy, hamartia has often been described as a hero's "tragic flaw." The word hamartia is rooted in the notion of missing the mark and covers a broad spectrum that includes ignorant, mistaken, or accidental wrongdoing, as well as deliberate iniquity, error, or sin. The term is better understood more broadly as a description of the element in a tragedy or tragic character that makes it tragic.

This form of drawing emotion from the audience is a staple of the Greek tragedies. In Greek tragedy, stories that contain a character with a hamartia often follow a similar blueprint. The hamartia, as stated, is seen as an error in judgment or unwitting mistake is applied to the actions of the hero. For example, the hero might attempt to achieve a certain objective X; by making an error in judgment, however, the hero instead achieves the opposite of X, with disastrous consequences.

However, hamartia cannot be sharply defined or have an exact meaning assigned to it.

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