Fences: A Tragic Hero Summary

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Select a novel or play in which a tragic figure functions as the instrument to the suffering of others.

In August Wilson’s play ‘Fences’ the reader is introduced to its main protagonist and tragic hero, Troy Maxon. In this story Troy has made conflict with almost every character through his natural cynical ways. Troy has lived a life of struggle, from his early life with his father, leaving home at 14, playing for the Negro Leagues but not getting a chance to play for the Majors because of his age, to his struggles to act as savior while being the main problem for most characters.
Troy, the father of Cory and Lyons, husband of Rose, and brother of Gabriel plays ahuge role in the suffering and struggles of these characters. One of Troy’s first struggles with his family is between him and Cory.

Cory like his dad is athletic and plays football, he has an opportunity to play for college but Troy, having been through the Negro Leagues and felt the weight of discrimination in American sports did not sign the papers, preventing Cory to play football and go to college. In Troy’s own way he was being a hero in his own way by protecting his son as he thought racial barriers were not broken.
Troy does this a lot in this play, he provides for his family and protects them up to an extent and then brings them down to suffering with his flaw filled ways.

In parts of the play he is talking to his family members on how they should live their lives better, while in other parts he is out falling back on his childish ways. For example, his relationship with Rose, Troy’s second mistake in the novel that leads to the suffering of others. Troy cheats on Rose and impregnates a woman, Alberta, who dies in childbirth. This obviously ruins their 18 year old relationship as Rose feels that they have come far from this level of immaturity. However Rose continues to live with Troy raising his illegitimate daughter.

Bono is another character that suffers a little from Troy but what suffers more between Bono and Troy is their friendship. Towards the end of the play Bono gains more friends and Troy gets a promotion so him and Bono don’t work the same shifts and he has no one to talk to after work. Bono come to see Troy every once and a while but it is nothing like the beginning scene of the play, far from it. As in the beginning Bono praises Troy and says him self that Troy is one of the best men he has ever met.

Although Troy Maxon is the protagonist of the play he also has a side of heroism,but it is significant to realize and understand that he is a human who has seen loss and failure and who has weaknesses like us all. Though Troy gave physically to his family through his working and providing for his family, he was reluctant to give any affection or emotional support to his family.

Leading to the end of the play we have the infamous fighting scene between Cory and Tory, in this scene we see Cory’s ascent to maturity and Tory’s fall to his fatal demise. Troy picks a fight with Cory as he feels Cory has lost respect for him and that his was disrespected during their encounter where Cory didn’t say excuse me to get past his dad. This leads to a brutal fight that brings Cory to swing a bat at the head of his father, and Troy verbally disowning him in his words “you’re just another nigg** on the street to me… now get out of my house.”

Troy’s life changed drastically from beginning to end of the play, it isn’t the same. Troy eventually meets his demise by heart attack, leaving only his memory and given him being a tragic hero in his death brings the fruits that have been growing through their struggles. Troy’s good deeds left his image of a hero in the memory of him, but sadly he let his demons get the upper hand over him leading to his demise.


Cite this paper

Fences: A Tragic Hero Summary. (2020, Sep 11). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/fences-a-tragic-hero/



Are Fences tragedy?
Fences is a play that explores the complexities of family, race, and society in 1950s America. While it deals with themes of loss and betrayal, it ultimately offers a message of hope and redemption.
What is Troy Maxson tragic flaw in Fences?
Troy's tragic flaw is his inability to see beyond his own perspective and to empathize with others. This leads to his self-destructive behavior and his eventual downfall.
Why is the play Fences A tragedy?
The play Fences is a tragedy because the protagonist, Troy, is a man who is unable to escape his own tragic flaws. These flaws eventually lead to his downfall, and the death of his dreams.
Why is Troy a tragic character?
The American Dream is the belief that anyone, regardless of race, class, or gender, can be successful in America if they work hard enough. The play Death of a Salesman is about the failure of one man to achieve the American Dream.
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