Mitt Romney embodies some, not all, the elements in Aristotle’s definition of a tragic figure:
* Character must be a person of stature. (Check)
* Character must neither be totally good or totally evil
* An error of judge or a weakness in character causes the misfortune. (Check)
* The character must be responsible for tragic events.
* Action involves a change in fortune from happiness to misery. (Check)
* Subject is serious. (Check)
* Tragic hero is of noble birth and displays a nobility of spirit. (Check)
* Protagonists pitted against forces beyond their control. (Check)
* Struggles courageously until his fall. (Check)
* Though defeated, gains a measure of increased wisdom.
Mr. Romney’s election concession speech speaks to these tragic elements, especially this man’s abiding faith in “this great nation.”
I so wish — I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.
UPDATE (11/7): We “left everything on the field,” Romney said, adding “we have given our all to this campaign.”
This comports with the prototypical Greek tragic figure who “struggles courageously until his fall.” Meantime, the snake in the grass coiled and hissed and spat venom, all the way to a victory.