Hamartia

Hamartia

həˈmärdēə

Noun

  • A fatal flaw leading to the downfall of a tragic hero or heroine.
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Example Sentences

“Hubris, or excessive pride, is often depicted as a hero’s ultimate hamartia.”

“Her hamartia was that she never saw opportunities in her life until it was too late.”

“He refused to believe that his competitiveness could ultimately be his hamartia.”

Word Origin

Greek, late 18th century

Why this word?

“Hamartia” traces back to the Greek verb “hamartanein” (“to miss the mark”) and was first introduced as a means of literary analysis by Aristotle. He used it to describe how the things characters hoped to seek or avoid could contribute to their success or demise.

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ˌpərspəˈkāSHəs