Category Archives: The Passageway to Tragedy: The Rise and Fall of a Hero

The Passageway to Tragedy: The Rise and Fall of a Hero



Green, John. Fault in Our Stars. New York: Dutton, 2014. Print.

The Fault in Our Stars is a contemporary and young adult novel by John Green. The protagonist Hazel Grace is a sixteen year old struggling with cancer. Hazel’s one desire is to discover the ending to her favorite story and meet the author. She unites with Augustus Waters at support group and his purpose is to make her dream come true. They travel through a series of events motivated to find the ending. Hazel and Augustus are hero’s because they are fighting to stay alive. Hazel realizes the real ending she was truly searching for, but a tragic ending is inevitable.

In order for students to analyze Hazel and Augustus as heros, or a tragic hero, they must understand the plot structure of a classic tragedy. For this reason, this text is paired with Beowulf, a classic tragedy. For both texts students should define the protagonist’s main desires and track the plot. Then, compare it to Freytag’s pyramid.








While reading both texts, students should keep a writing journal where they track the events throughout the narrative. The events they choose should relate to the protagonist of their choice. After reading, a compare and contrast essay will benefit their comprehension of  a classic tragedy. Students should use evidence from each text.

Essential questions:
What are the deep desires of the protagonists and how does the plot work against them?
Explain the perspective of each protagonist before and after the climax.


51kfpKNBB9L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Anonymous. Beowulf. Trans. Burrton Raffel. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008. Print. Signet Classics.