THE NATURAL - Typically the tragic hero is a mythological...

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Typically, the tragic hero is a mythological warrior who strives for immortality but fails because of his hubris or his reluctance to sacrifice such immortality to transcend and accept truth and reality; yet such a tragic theme can be emulated by modern literary characters. In Bernard Malamud’s The Natural , Roy Hobbs is the epitome of the tragic hero who, after a number of chances for redemption, still succumbs to hubris and the quixotic ambition for immortality by becoming the best baseball player ever. Indeed, the protagonist Roy Hobbs follows the typical, tragic hero cycle, which encompasses the mission, temptation, truth, and sacrifice or the lack thereof. When Roy was talking to Harriet Bird about his plans, he states his primary mission in life, “I bet some day I’ll break every record in the book for throwing and hitting. I bet people will say there goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was in the game” (26-27). Hobbs’ quixotic ideal for greatness alludes to the traditional mythological tragic hero who wants nothing more than immortality. In addition, while on his journey from rookie to the Knights’ rising star, he encounters many temptations. When Roy was nineteen, he was a naïve boy who was infatuated with a beautiful woman, Harriet Bird. She wore a “black dress” (8) and a white rose (9).
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