Answer 5 questions - Assignment Example

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The protagonist, usually a hero and a leader, falls from grace through a series of events triggered by his Achilles’ heel, or fatal flaw. “The Darker Face of the Earth” does not conform to the pattern of a classical…
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“The Darker Face of the Earth” by Rita Dove Aristotlean tragedy contains several distinct elements. The protagonist, usually a hero and a leader, falls from grace through a series of events triggered by his Achilles’ heel, or fatal flaw. “The Darker Face of the Earth” does not conform to the pattern of a classical Greek tragedy such as “Oedipus the King”. The protagonist is not a high- born man of status, but a slave. The tragedy in “Darker Face of the Earth” is a result of forces beyond his control, in this case, the institution of slavery. The protagonist’s fate is sealed; he has no choice, no free will.
Augustus Newcastle is the protagonist. A mixed-race child of Amalia, the plantation owner, and Hector, a slave, he returns to the plantation as an adult (Act I Scene III). Having grown up among white people and educated in their ways, he sees himself as the leader who will free them from servitude. The institution of slavery is the antagonist of the play. The protagonist leads a rebellion in an effort to free himself from bondage. Augustus, Amalia, Hector and Louis are dynamic characters. Their characters change in perspective as the play progresses. Scylla, Ticey, Phebe and the other slaves are static characters. They do not change their perspectives throughout the play.
Louis, Amalia’s husband, never forgives her for her betrayal, even though she slept with Hector in revenge (Act II Scene VIII). Augustus kills him in the slave revolution in the mistaken belief that he is the father who abandoned him.
Amalia, Augustus’ mother, kills herself to spare Augustus from having to do it (Act II Scene VII). The incestuous relationship between Amalia and Augustus is a key theme of the play, lending it its oedipal characteristics.
The characters’ mythological and Greek names underline the connection between the play and the Greek tragedies it draws from, specifically, Sophocles’ “Oedipus the King.”

Works Cited
Kennedy, X. J. and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing. 11th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2010. Print. Read More
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