In Aristotle's Poetics, the "tragic flaw" of the protagonist. Scholars differ as to whether Aristotle was referring primarily to a character's ignorance of certain facts or to a character's moral defect.
In literature, the tragic hero's error of judgment or inherent defect of character, usually less literally translated as a "fatal flaw." This, combined with essential elements of chance and other external forces, brings about a catastrophe. Often the error or flaw results from nothing more than personal traits like probity, pride, and overconfidence, but can arise from any failure of the protagonist's action or knowledge ranging from a simple unwitting act to a moral deficiency. Sidelight: The tragic hero is usually of high estate and neither entirely virtuous nor bad. Hamartia, rather than villainy, is the significant factor leading to his suffering. He evokes our pity because, not being an evil person, his misfortune is a greater tragedy than he deserves and is disproportionate to the "flaw." We are also moved to fear, as we recognize the possibilities of similar errors or defects in ourselves.
A term coined by Aristotle to describe "some error or frailty" that brings about misfortune for a tragic hero. The concept of hamartia is closely related to that of the tragic flaw: both lead to the downfall of the protagonist in a tragedy. Literally a term from archery, meaning "falling short of the mark."
In tragedy, the event or act that leads to the hero's or heroine's downfall. This term is often incorrectly used as a synonym for tragic flaw. In Richard Wright's Native Son, the act that seals Bigger Thomas's fate is his first impulsive murder.
Hamartia (Ancient Greek: Î¬Î¼Î±ÏÏ„Î¯Î±) is used in Aristotle's Poetics, where it is usually translated as a mistake, flaw, failure, fault, or sin. The "tragic hero" attempts to do the "right thing" in a situation where the right thing cannot be done.