Who is your all-time favourite tragic hero and why?

Orpheus. He was a son of Apollo and a mortal human. He was a master musician, and was gifted the Lyre from his father. With it, he charmed the earth with his beautiful melodies.

He had a wife named Euridicy. She was beautiful and wonderful and Orpheus loved her more than anything in the world. One day, while she was wandering through a forest trail, she was chased by a hunter who thought to seduce her. As she was running, she was bit in the ankle by a poisonous snake, and died.

Orpheus was very distraught at his wife's death. He would do anything to get her back. He traveled to the underworld, playing his lyre the entire way there, charming the gatekeepers, ghosts, the furies, and other spectres along the way. While Orpheus played, the suffering of the Underworld stopped.

Orpheus made his way all the way to Pluto. In front of Pluto he begged for his wife to be returned. Pluto, charmed by his music and his determination, allowed Euridicy to return to the mortal world with him, on one condition: That Orpheus journey back to the mortal world and never look behind him. Euridicy would be following him the entire way. If he looked back before he made it to the Earth, Euridicy would forever be lost to Orpheus.

Orpheus began his journey back through the underworld, still playing his lyre, still charming those who he passed. He could not look back, for Euridicy was his everything.

In a moment of doubt, very close to Earth, Orpheus looked back. He was immediately distraught, realizing his mistake, angry at himself for failing his one chance to have his wife back.

Orpheus was very sad. He started to roam the earth, surviving off the most basic of his needs, playing his lyre all the time. For a while, he saw no one and talked to no one.

One day, he became upon a group of Thracians. The Thracians saw Orpheus' plight, and thought to cheer him up. They offered him good food and sweet wine for feasting. They offered him women to sleep with, that he may forget about Euridicy.

Of course, Orpheus refused. Euridicy was his only love. He needed no Earthly pleasures but the pleasure of music. But the Thracians would have none of this. They attacked him. But Orpheus played his Lyre, and was protected by the sonorities. The Thracians began to yell and scream, drowning out the sound of his music. Orpheus could no longer protect himself from the Thracians, and there he was killed.

Orpheus is my favorite tragic hero. He needed nothing but the love for his music and the love of his wife. Both were taken away from him by no fault of his own. Music led his way through the underworld, and through music, he almost saved his wife. He failed because of doubt, a mortal, human feeling. No one can blame Orpheus for his doubt. He was killed because he loved his wife and would not be seduced. He was a great man.

/r/AskReddit Thread