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1) Tragedy: As I understand It
An archetype refers to a model or prototype from which all behaviors actions and other things of the same likeness are copied. An archetype will mostly refer to people who hold positions or importance or influential people. They are mostly virtuous people. Archetypes can be traced to as early as the days of Plato whereby some of his ideas are thought to be archetypical. William Shakespeare created many archetypes in his works of art some of whom include; Romeo and Juliet, Falstaff, and many others. A tragic hero is a character who despite their best effort of good deeds is doomed to fail. A tragic hero is usually a protagonist but sometimes can be an antagonist. According to Aristotle, an individual cannot be a hero until the person is able to see the root cause of his downfall.
In the popular film star wars, Anakin Skywalker also known as Darth Vader could be considered a tragic hero. He is the main character of the film and appears as a protagonist in the prequels. Skywalker saved his master several times, he also helped win the war but his down fall or flaw came when he grew the fear of losing those he cared about. He therefore tried to prevent it from ever happening and in the process; the fear that resulted to hunger for power turned him into a black knight.
I have always thought of myself as an archetype. These thoughts have always come from my fictitious hero prad who is a supernatural being but embodied as a guard in a volatile street where crime and murder normally occur. Prad’s weakness however is that though he is immortal, he cannot take more than three bullets (he will perish if he does) in his lifetime and has already been shot at twice. His flaw is that he can’t watch someone get attacked, he has to save the person and has done so a number of times. His death is therefore almost inevitable and it is bound to happen soon.
2) Me, Myself and Fate
Fate can be described as a destiny or an end to whatever we do or our actions. Fate normally affects events in our lives and in one way or another defines how our lives will be. Destiny and fate would mean the same things in our lives at some instances while in others they are totally different things. We might think of destiny in terms of our career or success in life. Thus one may decide as a child to one day become a doctor, a pilot or a performing artist and work towards this goal and achieve it. This means that destiny is achievable and we can easily determine our destiny and forge our path towards that destiny. Fate on the other hand is almost impossible to control. In as much as we might set goals to achieve certain things in our lives or reach a given platform, various natural factors may come along the way that might act as constraints to us achieving these goals. An accident might occur along the way, or someone might totally fail to have the finances to help the person achieve particular goal. Fate is therefore not easy to control and might prove to be a setback to us achieving our goals. Fate might at the same time ensure that something that was meant to happen will actually happen no matter what we do. Fate just like fatality or death is something that must be fulfilled. We are sure that one day we will die and we can’t just go around death but have to confront it no matter when or how it comes.
Even though fate plays a major role in defining my life, I believe that my actions are more important in determining who I am and whom I intend to be. I can’t just sit back and say that this is what fate has destined for me and that there is nothing I can do about it. In any case, fate affects each and every one’s life and it is our different actions that define who we are and who we intend to be. However I can say that fate has played a huge role in my life, and contributed to what I am today and why I am in this institution. Had I not been taught by that language teacher, or the math teacher at elementary level, I would have loved one subject or course to another. What I might become in future might be determined by my decisions, effort and passion but fate still plays a major role in influencing my decisions. I might decide to be a performing artist, this will not only depend on my decision but the fact that I attended an English language class and the teacher influenced me. Had that particular teacher not taught me, I would not have made such decision and therefore fate has layed a major role in determining my destiny. In as much as I agree with fate, I do not believe in karma because our lives are not entirely controlled by our past actions but a combination of fate, our past, present and future deeds.
Over the years I have been able to ask questions why I can’t be like someone else or why are some of the things I do behave in a particular pattern. I might work hard and perform well in class to achieve my goals. For instance I have always wanted to be a performing artist (a singer or actor) but sometimes I feel that fate plays a major role in deciding such destinies. When I look at many artists in the country, most of them get to where they are by luck or through affiliation with other people, some get there because they come from rich backgrounds and can buy their way to success. There are those who are talented and get spotted and later become famous, yet there are those who have worked hard and achieved no success. Looking at such phenomena I have come to believe that fate plays an important role in our lives.
3) Three friends
Friends hold some characteristics or traits that define their association or relationships. People choose friends or become friends with others for various reasons. Reasons for friendship may range from companionship, cooperation, convenience or certain circumstances that force people to become friends. Friendship might begin at an instance or take years to develop. Friendship requires lots of consistency in expressing honesty, truth, mutual compassion and understanding, trusting each other, empathy and sympathy and reciprocity. In as much as we might have friends who are always present when needed and whom we have mutual companionship and understanding, lit is also important to have friends whose principles guide us. These are friends who will always lead by example and rarely will they lead us astray. Principled friends are those who will always stand by what they believe is true regardless of what others believe or say. Good friends are those who principles we share and follow either consciously or unconsciously and do as they do trusting that it will always be right and just. A friend whose principles guides and leads me is an ideal friend.
We often go through good times and tough times. We therefore need friends, who will be with us, those who have our back no matter the situation we face. These are friends who will risk their reputations, positions they hold or even their lives for the sake of their friends. They are ready to bite the bullet just to ensure that they do not betray the trust and mutual understanding that exists between them. This type of friendship takes a sacrifice and not many friends will have your back no matter your situation. Politicians for instance require these types of friends, those who will support them regardless of race, ethnicity or any other social affiliation.
We should also think of friends as those who openly challenge us when we are wrong. These are true friends because they will never let us fall or go astray. They will always lead us towards a clear path and never allow us to take wrong path. We should therefore shun friends who will never warn us or challenge us when we go wrong. This could be an indication that they are always after our downfall. We sometimes feel bad and aggrieved if challenged when we are wrong but I think it is the right thing.
Friends with the qualities discussed above are the real friends and friends who make good leaders, inspirational leaders. They are friends whose deeds and principles people can relate to. Martin Luther king Jr. was principled and many stuck him, those that shared in his thoughts, dreams and aspirations. He was a principled leader and friend, one who stood for what, was right regardless of the repercussions.
“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea”. Martin Luther king - "Letter from a Birmingham Jail
Martin Luther king felt that the white clergy men never gave him enough support when he held peaceful demonstrations protesting segregation in America. He believed that if indeed they were true friends, they should stand by the protestors rregardless of race. He was particularly disappointed by their view that battle against racial segregation should only be fought in the courts and not the streets.
Friends who openly challenge us are indeed true friends contrary to what many might believe. Niccolo Machiavelli told issues as they were not only issues related to morality.
“A prince should do great works and give proof of his power. He should be a true friend or a true enemy, and not remain neutral. A prince should appreciate, and reward, merit” Niccolo Machiavelli – “The prince”.
A true friend should be ready to challenge you if indeed the friend cares about your friendship.
4) Five illustrations - Oedipus
The king of Thebes - Laius is informed by an oracle, that his son will kill him and marry his wife Jocasta. Following the revelation, Laius in agreement with his wife pinions the child’s (his son’s) feet and gives the child to a shepherd to “expose” it on the nearby mountain -Mt. Cithaeron. the servant however feels pity on the child and instead gives it to another shepherd who presents the child to the king of Corinth who happened not to have a child. The king-Polybius names the child Oedipus because of the swollen feet.
Oedipus learns of his fate from the oracle
Oedipus as a young man had a rumor that the parents he has known over the years are not his biological parents and asks them the truth, but they do not tell him. He decides to consult an oracle to tell him the truth. The oracle reluctant to tell him the truth instead tells him what he is destined for. That he will “mate with his own mother, and shed with his own hands the blood of his own sire”. To avoid the fate, he decides to head towards Thebes from Corinth knowing Polybus and Merope are his true parents.
Oedipus heads towards Thebes
On his way to Thebes, Oedipus approaches a cross road where he meets a man who happens to be his true father Laius. Both of them are unaware of each other’s identity and in the process they quarrel over who has right of way for his chariot. King Laius goes on and attempts to strike Oedipus with his scepter, but Oedipus pulls him down from the chariot, killing him. Through this Oedipus fulfills part of the prophecy by the oracle.
The sphinx that Oedipus meets on his way
Oedipus on his way meets a sphinx and manages to solve her riddle. The riddle goes “what is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon and three in the evening?” Oedipus gives the right answer which is “man”. What he means is that as an infant, man crawls (on four legs), walks upright as he grows up and uses a stick when he grows old. Because of Oedipus’ ability to answer the riddle, the sphinx throws herself into water and perishes. Oedipus gets rewarded by the Thebans for killing the sphinx and freeing them for her curse. He is therefore made the king of Thebes and in the process ends up marrying Jocasta who happens to be her biological mother and whom he has killed his husband. Oedipus therefore fulfills the Ogre’s prophecy even though neither him, nor the mother is aware.
Furious Oedipus pricks his eyes and goes blind
A plague of drought hits Thebes, Oedipus therefore sends Creon, his brother in law to inquire from the Delphi oracle the cause of the plague. Creon tells Oedipus that the plague has been caused by religious pollution which has occurred because the killer of Laius, the former king has not been found. Oedipus vows to Thebans that he will find the murderer to help end the plague. When the prophet is called, the prophet reveals that it is indeed Oedipus who murdered his own father, Oedipus does not understand how this could be true. Several events unfold that reveals that the person he murdered at the cross roads was indeed his biological father and he has married his mother. Knowing that the prophecy has been fulfilled, the mother hangs herself while Oedipus pricks his eyes with a pin and goes blind. He begs to be exiled form Thebes as soon as possible knowing that he has fallen by fate.