The Substance of Shakespearean Tragedy . Source: Shakespearean Tragedy A.C. Bradley Lecture I - Pages 1-29. Slide 2. Tragedy brings before us a considerable number of persons, but it is pre-eminently the story of one person: the hero
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The hero experiences a total reversal of fortune, and his fall produces a sense of contrast, of the powerlessness of man, and of omnipotence – perhaps the caprice – of Fortune or Fate, which no tale of private life can possibly rival.
The calamities of tragedy do not simply happen; they proceed mainly from the actions of men, and among them, is the hero, who unfailingly contributes in some measure to the disaster in which he perishes.
The center of tragedy may be said with equal truth to lie in action issuing from character, or in character issuing in action.