A tragic hero is the protagonist of a tragedy. Tragic heroes appear in the dramatic works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Seneca, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Webster, Marston, Corneille, Racine, Goethe, Schiller, Kleist, Strindberg, Miller and many other writers.
Aristotle's tragic hero 
Aristotle established his view of what makes a tragic hero in Poetics. Aristotle suggests that a hero of a tragedy must evoke in the audience a sense of pity or fear, saying, “the change of fortune presented must not be the spectacle of a virtuous man brought from prosperity to adversity." He establishes the concept that the emotion of pity stems not from a person becoming better but when a person receives undeserved misfortune and fear comes when the misfortune befalls a man like us. This is why Aristotle points out the simple fact that, “The change of fortune should be not from bad to good, but, reversely, from good to bad.” Aristotle also establishes that the hero has to be “virtuous” that is to say he has to be "a morally blameless man” (article 82). The Hero's flaw is what will bring him not success, but death by the end of the work
Aristotle contests that the tragic hero has to be a man “who is eminently good and just, whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty.” He is not making the hero entirely good in which he can do no wrong but rather has the hero committing an injury or a great wrong leading to his misfortune. Aristotle is not contradicting himself saying that the hero has to be virtuous and yet not eminently good. Being eminently good is a moral specification to the fact that he is virtuous. He still has to be - to some degree - good. Aristotle adds another qualification to that of being virtuous but not entirely good when he says, “He must be one who is highly renowned and prosperous.” He goes on to give examples such as Oedipus and Thyestes.”
A list of examples of tragic heroes.
- Oedipus in Sophocles' Oedipus the King (429 BC)
- Medea in Euripides' Medea (431 BC)
- Antigone in Sophocles' Antigone (442 BC)
- Orestes in Aeschylus' Oresteia (458 BC)
- Romeo and Juliet in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1595)
- Brutus in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (1599)
- Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Hamlet (1601)
- Lear in William Shakespeare's King Lear (c. 1603-1606)
- Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth (c. 1603-1607)
- Othello in William Shakespeare's Othello (1604)
- Duchess of Malfi in John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi (1614)
- Jean Valjean in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables (1862)
- Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Edward Hyde in Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)
- Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman (1949)
- John Proctor in Arthur Miller's The Crucible (1953)
- Eddie Carbone in Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge (1955)
- S.H. Butcher, The Poetics of Aristotle, (1902), pp. 45-47
- Charles H. Reeves, The Aristotelian Concept of The Tragic Hero, Vol. 73, No. 2 (1952), Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/291812 pp. 172-188
- Carlson, Marvin. 1993. Theories of the Theatre: A Historical and Critical Survey from the Greeks to the Present. Expanded ed. Ithaca and London: Cornell UP. ISBN 0-8014-8154-6.
- Janko, Richard, trans. 1987. Poetics with Tractatus Coislinianus, Reconstruction of Poetics II and the Fragments of the On Poets. By Aristotle. Cambridge: Hackett. ISBN 978-0-87220-033-3.
- Pavis, Patrice. 1998. Dictionary of the Theatre: Terms, Concepts, and Analysis. Trans. Christine Shantz. Toronto and Buffalo: U of Toronto P. ISBN 978-0-8020-8163-6.