Thomas Hardy’s Michael Henchard from The Mayor of Casterbridge is a tragic

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Thomas Hardy’s Michael Henchard from The Mayor of Casterbridge is a tragic hero whose character flaws lead to his demise. I think that Thomas Hardy did an amazing job with regards to the way he created Henchard in the sense that he made him more human than all the other characters. When analysing Henchard, I felt the compulsive need to compare him to the Yin and Yang symbol. “In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang is a concept of dualism in ancient Chinese philosophy, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary, forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.” (“Yin and yang”, n.d) . This symbol shows how humans are, in a sense that there is a bit of bad in every good and a bit of good in every bad and when the two are combined we see how, in this case, Henchard is made up.Henchard’s character can neither be praised nor be frowned upon because he exhibits typical human behaviour. He has so many negative characteristics that if I had to discuss them all I would have to write two whole papers so, in this paper, I will discuss how his impulsive, selfish, jealous, egotistic and prideful characteristics eventually lead to his self-inflicted misery, downfall and inevitable demise and just like the Yin and Yang symbol, I will also highlight some of the good in the bad in Henchard’s character.When we first meet the young 21-year-old version of Michael Henchard he is travelling with his wife, Susan, and their baby daughter in search of a job. They decide to stop for dinner in a furmity tent at a county fair. Henchard gets intoxicated and jokes about how his wife and daughter are a burden to him,”For my part I don’t see why men who have got wives