Wednesday, May 5, 2021

A fallen hero

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Tragic Hero

The tragic hero's nature is exceptional, and generally raises him in some respect much above the average level of humanity. The tragic hero also has a fatal gift that carries with it a touch of greatness. Admiration, terror, awe, pity, and sympathy are all felt as we watch a tragic hero's life unfold.

Aristotle stated that a tragic hero must be of certain qualities: a man of noble stature, good, though not perfect, have a fall that results from committing an act of injustice, which is his own fault, and receive a punishment that exceeds the crime.

Aristotle was born in 384 BC and lived until 322 BC. He was a Greek philosopher and scientist, who shares with Plato being considered the most famous of ancient philosophers. He was born at Stagira, in Macedonia, the son of a physician to the royal court. When he was 17, he went to Athens to study at Plato's Academy. He stayed for about 20 years, as a student and then as a teacher.

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When Plato died in 347 BC, Aristotle moved to Assos, a city in Asia Minor, where a friend of his named Hermias was the ruler. He counseled Hermias and married his niece and adopted daughter, Pythias . After Hermias was captured and executed by the Persians, Aristotle went to Pella, Macedonia's capital, and became the tutor of the king's young son Alexander, later known as Alexander the Great. In 335, when Alexander became king, Aristotle went back to Athens and established his own school, the Lyceum. When Alexander died in 323 BC, strong anti-Macedonian feeling was felt in Athens, and Aristotle went to a family estate in Euboea. He died there the following year.

Aristotle, like Plato, used his dialogue in his beginning years at the Academy. Aristotle also wrote some short technical writings, including a dictionary of philosophic terms and a summary of the "doctrines of Pythagoras". Of these, only a few short pieces have survived. Still in good shape, though, are Aristotle's lecture notes for carefully outlined courses treating almost every type of knowledge and art. (

By Aristotle definition MacBeth was a tragic hero. A tragic hero is one of noble stature, and is good. Macbeth is known as the Thane of Cawdor. He receives this honor because he has just returned from a military success that has covered him in glory. Macbeth can be considered "good" at the start of the work. He is good, although he is not perfect. He has a good heart and is in a keen state of mind before he hears the witches' prophecy. Macbeth does not begin to become evil until he is convinced to act on the prophecy by Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is the evil one who poisons Macbeth's mind; although, she is only encouraging her husband to do what she feels is in his best interest. (

The hero's downfall is his own fault, the result of his own free choice, not the result of an accident or fate. An accident and/or fate may be a contributing factor in the hero's downfall, but are not alone responsible. Macbeth's downfall is entirely his fault. He chose to listen to the witches' prophecy. Banquo heard the same prophecy, but chose not to allow himself to be duped. Macbeth could have done the same thing. He, instead, chose to accept the prophecy and act upon it. Macbeth spends most of the play in moral indecision. Lady Macbeth encourages him, but it is he that chooses his actions. (

A tragic hero can also be seen in the life of Darryl Strawberry. The sadness with Strawberry is twofold. One is the diminishment of what might have been one of the great careers in baseball, from one kind of sickness that he might have had control over. The other is the tragedy of the physical cancer that he may well have had no control over.

Darryl Eugene Strawberry was born on March 12, 1962, in Los Angeles, California. Darryl graduated from Crenshaw High School. At Crenshaw High School, Darryl hit .371 with 4 home runs as a junior and .400 with 5 home runs as a senior. Darryl was a gifted young athlete. When not playing baseball, Darryl helped his high school basketball team win the city championship.

Darryl Strawberry was the first player in the nation to be selected in the 1980 draft. Drafted by the New York Mets and assigned to Kingsport in the Appalachian League, Darryl responded by getting a hit in his very first professional at-bat. In 1982, Darryl led the Texas league in home runs, walks, and slugging percentage, and he was named the league's Most Valuable Player. He was elevated to Tidewater of the International League in 1983 and helped the Tides capture the International League post-season Championship. The next stop for Darryl was the major leagues.

Big things were expected from Darryl right from the beginning. As a number-one draft choice in a city that placed high demands on its athletes, Darryl Strawberry became a household name even before he set his eyes on Shea Stadium. Darryl was frequently compared to the likes of Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Ted Williams. A long way from his Los Angeles home and under such pressure to perform well, Darryl put together an excellent first season. Voted the National League Rookie of the Year, Darryl set several Mets club records, including most home runs by a left-handed batter, most home runs by a rookie, and most runs batted in by a rookie.

Darryl hit 81 home runs during his first three years in the major leagues. Baseball experts were amazed at his home-run power. Although his swing looked effortless, Darryl hit some of the longest home runs recorded in baseball history. During a home run hitting contest at the 1986 All-Star Game in Houston, for example, Darryl showed his power by striking a speaker hanging from the roof in center field.

The 1986 baseball campaign was a year neither Darryl nor any baseball fan will likely forget. The top vote getter in the major league All-Star balloting with a record number of 1,619,516 votes, Daryl led the Mets in home runs and runs batted in. In 1986, Darryl led all players in the League Championship Series against Houston with 2 home runs and 5 RBIs and inspired his team not to give up. The Mets rallied from behind on several occasions, including a 2-out, 3-run rally in the sixth game of the World Series against the Boston Red Sox. Many fans still remember the chanting of "Darryl, Darryl" by the Boston Red Sox fans, a custom that has now become a baseball ritual in many ballparks.

As he clearly emerged as one of the New York Mets' all-time best power hitters and reached superstar status after only a few seasons, life in New York, both on and off the playing field, was not easy for Darryl. Coaches, fans, and even some of his own teammates often criticized Darrly. No matter how well he performed, the New York fans and media never seemed satisfied and wanted more and more from the tall, lean right fielder. (

Difficulties in his personal life did not help the young superstar. On February 3, 1990, Darryl, after admitting an alcohol problem, entered a rehabilitation center for alcohol abuse in New York. Having taken the courageous step to admit his problem, Darryl rejoined the team in time for spring training. After starting the season slowly, Darryl put together an 18-game hitting streak, hit 18 home runs in the month of June, and never looked back. Often credited with single-handedly carrying the team, Darryl kept the Mets in the pennant race until the last week of the season and ended the year with one of his best home-run production and drove in 101 RBIs.

At the end of the 1990 season, Darryl realized a lifelong dream by signing a five-year contract worth $20.5 million to play with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The pressures of playing in New York were behind him. Beginning in the spring of 1991, Darryl would play every day in front of his family, his childhood friends, and the enthusiastic Dodger fans, all waiting for big things from their hometown hero. He also began to talk openly about his recent conversion to Christianity-the source, he said, of a newfound sense of peace that now influenced him both as an athlete and as a person.

During the 1991 season, Darryl got off to a slow start. By mid-season, he was still hitting poorly, and his well-publicized conversion came under some criticism by those who claimed that he had lost his competitive, aggressive nature. Near the end of summer, however, Darryl somehow found it in time to kindle the Dodgers' playoff hopes. His teammates rallied around the rejuvenating presence of this superstar, and the resulting esprit de corps carried them through the last days of a close divisional race. They eventually lost the National League West division championship to a fired-up Atlanta Braves team by a single game. For the season, Darryl contributed 28 home runs and 99 RBIs.

Darryl developed more than baseball skills during his eight years with the New York Mets. He learned that great champions have a great price to pay because so many people who want them to be so many different things look them up to. Darryl learned he could no longer let these unrealistic outside expectations bother him. He has one person to please and that is himself, and to accomplish his goals, he must go out and play as hard as he can and let his physical skills speak for themselves.

During his eight seasons with the New York Mets, Darryl Strawberry averaged more than 30 home runs each season and led the Mets to two National League pennants and a World Championship. Although the subject of intense pressure during his stay in New York, once he put on his uniform, he gave everything he had, and that Mets fans and baseball fans will never forget.

Strawberry has fought many battles. He has had problems with drugs, with alcohol, with the I.R.S., and with a paternity suit. He has lost many of these battles. He was in rehab centers, under house arrest, released from the Dodgers and the Giants, suspended on a number of occasions, clearly trying to make it all right again, trying to come back time and time again. He became a born-again Christian with a look in his eyes at times that made him appear nearly hypnotized, and then lapsed. He sought to become a rededicated family man, a total team player, and to perhaps hang out with a better class of people than in previous times. (

However this season Strawberry has been seen attending a sex club in Florida, which, in addition to being questionable judgment on his part, may have also been off-limits behavior because of his parole stemming from the sentencing on the cocaine charge last year. Strawberry has also decided to leave early from the drug rehabilitation center he had been in for the last two months. And then, grievously, it was learned that his colon cancer may have returned.

The fall of what could have been a long and awesome baseball career is a tragedy. Strawberry's talent is rare and because of the drug abuse, his personal life, and the cancer it makes one wonder what "could have been." The cancer Darryl had no control over yet he overcame it once. However the drugs and the other personal problems are something that he let interfere with his game and life.

Darryl Strawberry choose to live his life one way and he will pay the price.

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