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February 26th, 2007, 06:46 AM
I've been thinking about how gut wrenching it would be to have the main character die in the end...Im sure someone has done this before, because its such an easy thought.
I remember books like Blackhawk Down and The Red Badge of Courage gave me chill bumps at times because of its random personalities. For ex...I respected the character Fillmore (not sure how to spell it) in BHD and it never crossed my mind that he would get killed...as soon as I read "Fillmore just crumpled. His tiny helmet jerked back...."

I was just wondering what kind of dramatic effect that would have if it was the main character...hey JK, kill Potter for us. (J/K...)

February 26th, 2007, 06:31 PM
Well, the basis for western literature is a story that tells specifically about the death of the hero Achilles, and ever since then its been the most common theme in storytelling so, yea, its been done a few times. ;)

February 26th, 2007, 06:57 PM
Hmm...I dont know much about Achilles...but it sounds Greek or something so Im probably going to feel REALLY stupid when I found out who or what he was lol

February 26th, 2007, 07:34 PM
The Iliad (epic work of Greek literature)--Homer

Troy (movie)--Brad Pitt plays Achilles

The term is 'tragedy'. The Greeks made an artform of it. Many others have followed, from Beowulf to Hamlet to Star Wars (Darth Vader dies in the act of redemption, Obei Wan, etc.)

It's been done, well and often.

aka Agent Rusty Bones

Sorry for the duplicate below...

February 26th, 2007, 09:31 PM
If you read around, you will notice the dying at the end is a very common thing in literature. In fact, the majority of surviving Greek plays are tragedies. Pick up Aristotle's (the) Poetics to really understand the art of the tragedy. As well, I would recommend reading some Shakespearian tragedies, and a few Victorian tragedies. Though they may not be fantasy, they still are essential in understanding the fundamentals of tragedy writing.

February 27th, 2007, 12:04 AM
My first thought was Romeo and Juliet, and Will tells us in the prologue they are going to take their lives, well, sort of. A class act is hard to follow. If you intend to do this, make every effort to do it well.


I've noted the tragic hero is not popular in current literature, perhaps it is time to discover him again.

February 27th, 2007, 02:28 AM
What about the bible, Jesus dies. (Then he returns but that is not the point.):)

February 27th, 2007, 11:13 AM
I've noted the tragic hero is not popular in current literature, perhaps it is time to discover him again.

The tragic hero is quite common in current literature, though I'll admit he doesn't always die. But certainly, he dies enough times to count. And sometimes he narrates the story when he's dead -- the movie American Beauty, the novel The Lovely Bones.

The answer to the question, has this been done before, is always yes. That doesn't mean it isn't neat to do yourself.

February 28th, 2007, 12:24 AM
I stand corrected.

I should have said, "in current literature I've read lately." Which, when I think about it, isn't very representative.

I do agree that there isn't a lot that hasn't been done before. And if you find something which hasn't been done, do it quick.


Konrad -- that wasn't at the end.

February 28th, 2007, 04:52 AM
Konrad -- that wasn't at the end.

So if the character dies a few chapters from the end then it doesn't count?