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bubba3778's avatar

Help understanding hubris and hamartia?

Asked by bubba3778 (373points) May 16th, 2011

So, I need to know how to explain these for English class, but I’m having a hard time understanding them. Please help?

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3 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

Hubris would be arrogance that leads the character to ignore others and general common sense that leads to bad things happening, like Dr. Frankenstein creating a monster. Think “Mr. Smarty Pants gets what he deserves.”

Hamartia is an injury caused to another person through accident, ignorance or mistake.

sinscriven's avatar

An example of these two could be described in a classic superhero/villain situation:

Through a series of events, the superhero finds himself in a nearly assured loss and is now at the complete mercy of the diabolical evil bad guy. Being so proud of himself and his victory and arrogant enough to think that his victory is guaranteed (Hubris), villain guy decides to do a stupidly long monologue about all his evil plans and spilling all the beans because he’s a) mocking the superhero and b) believes that absolutely nothing can be lost.

Due to the details of the story or just for it taking so long, the hero breaks free and kicks the villain’s butt. it could be said that the fatal flaw of the villain (hamtaria), was his hubris that gave the hero the time to turn the tables on him.

meiosis's avatar

In Ancient Greece, hubris was actions that humiliated and shamed someone for the pleasure and gratification of the perpetrator. It was also used to describe those who challenged the gods. In Greek drama, it was often followed by Nemesis.

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