Tragic Hero Hall of Shame

by Alec Payne and Matt Mims

What constitutes a tragic hero?

-Is born of noble birth

-is responsible for own fate

-incorporates many admirable qualities

-has a tragic flaw

-is doomed to make a serious error in judgement

-falls from great heights or from high esteem

-realizes he or she made an irreversible mistake

-faces and accepts responsibility for own fate

-faces and accepts death with honor

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Kurt Cobain was born into a working class family on February 20th, 1967. When he was seven his parents were divorced, causing him to become withdrawn. The rejection from his new step-parents was channeled into his music. In 1988, he began the band Nirvana and also began doing heroine. His band became one of the most influential bands of all time. They ended the 80's glam rock, and began the grunge revolution. However, the fame and drug use eventually drove him to commit suicide on April 5th 1994.

Qualities Met

Is Responsible for their own fate- With his rise to stardom, Cobain was given the opportunity to go wherever he wanted with his life.

Incorporates many admirable qualities- Kurt gave a voice to a struggling generation. He was a talented songwriter who put emotion into his music. He was an easily relatable person. He showed others that it was ok to be themselves.

Has a tragic flaw- His drug use an isolation drove him crazy.

Is doomed to make a serious flaw in judgement- The aforementioned drug abuse and depression were leading him down a dark road.

Falls from a great height- Nirvana was one of the most influential bands of all time, with a very loyal fan base. He fell from life as one of the world's top musicians.

Realizes he or she made an irreversible mistake- Suicide is the biggest irreversible mistake.

Faces and accepts responsibility for own fate- In his suicide note, Kurt addressed the ones he left behind and said he understood the consequences of what he was doing.

Qualities Not Met

Is born of noble birth- Kurt Cobain was born on February 20, of 1967. He grew up in a small logging town and was raised by working class parents.

Faces and accepts death with honor- Cobain was struggling with a heroin addiction. He later killed himself with a shot that he shot within his mouth.


While Cobain missed a few qualities of a tragic hero, he possessed far more. Many people looked at him as the mouthpiece of their struggle in life, and they felt a connection to his music. The trials he overcame to get to where he was were tremendous and added a certain level of heroism to his story. While some people may not see drug abuse as a "fatal flaw" it clearly was. If not for his heroin addiction he would still be with us today. His downfall however, was huge. When he committed suicide, it was global news. Because of all this, Kurt Cobain deserves a spot in the Hall of Shame.
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