In following: completely unto himself, responsible only to

In French Literature there are two types of heroes: the anti-hero, also known as the tragic hero, and the hero, which is also known as the perfect hero. The tragic hero is seen as a counterpart to the perfect hero. The tragic hero is a representation of the average human being. This hero is meant to be seen as relatable to those in the real world in the sense that they can and will make mistakes. They base their decision  on emotions and tend to act irrationally. The major issue, however, is that the tragic hero chooses love over honor and it is due this choice, that people can revel in a character’s personality because of the mistakes they have made in the past or present. The tragic hero has characteristics that are seens faults, especially within french literature (citation), while the perfect hero is the complete opposite. This hero does not let their emotions run rampant over their decisions (citation). The perfect hero is placed into situations that forces them to choose honor over love and passion, which can make it seem that this hero will make the wrong decision. However, unlike the tragic hero, the perfect hero will always choose honor above all else, essentially making the right decision regardless of how difficult the choice that is placed in front of them. The reason is due to the fact that in “Seventeenth-century tragedy professes a political faith based on reason and experience” (Baudin 477).  This meant that this hero was based off a time period where society choose reasoning over love and affection. It is due to this time period, playwright Pierre Corneille was able to create the play Le Cid, whose characters, for example L’infante, choose honor. On the other side of the comparison, Phèdre written by another 17th century playwright Jean Racine wrote in a different direction to show that heroes should not be perfect because humanity is not perfect, essentially the anti-hero. The anti-hero in his play is named Phèdre. The comparison between the two types of heroes stems from the ideologies of Jean Racine and Pierre Corneille and how they analyzed the characteristics the way heroes were built. In Le Cid, Corneille does not give the character who is the definition of the perfect hero enough screen time but it evident that this character is this type of hero.  The perfect hero is named L’Infante (Brugaletta). The reason being that Corneille’s ideology of a perfect hero includes the following: completely unto himself, responsible only to himself, and recognizes no power except himself (Wang 190). Corneille’s ideal hero is one who essentially  chooses honor over love. In order to understand why L’Infante is the perfect hero, one must first understand the situation in which she is going through. L’Infante must choose between her love for Rodrigue, a lower class man, and her honor, which is tied to her status in society (Brugaletta). L’Infante must make a choice of either forcing her way of obtaining Rodrigue through a marriage that would be without love or choose between her social class that is tied with her honor to herself and to her father. L’Infante seems like she is going to choose love honor but she ultimately makes the right decision. She ultimately chooses honor, which she displays by bring Rodrigue even closer  to his true love so he would not be available to her as a lover (Brugaletta). L’Infante is the representation of 17th century perfect hero because of her choice of honor over love due to the nature of the choice being so difficult.  L’Infante is the perfect hero because she fits into every part of Corneille’s ideology due to her ability to reason. In the 17th century, L’Infante is the most relatable character until playwright Jean Racine’s new ideology of what makes a hero. Jean Racine wrote the play entitled Phèdre, which depicts his ideologies on how a hero should not be perceived or made perfect because it is not realistic to real life interactions. Phèdre is a complete contrast to Le Cid, especially when it comes to the representation of heroes. Racine created his main character, Phèdre, to show 17th century society that it is normal to choose passion over honor and that it is impossible to always make the right choice. Phèdre was more of an attraction compared to Le Cid  due to Corneille only thinking of “amour de tete” (Michaud 187). Corneille essentially was only showing rationally and reason when it came to being a hero while Racine believed that heroes must be able to make mistakes and overreact because that is how human nature functions. Similar to Corneille, Racine had criteria for his version of a hero, the anti-hero. The anti-hero is considered as “fundamentally though not exclusively a guilty one, so that we are easily able to attribute his downfall to his wrongful behavior” (McCollum 52). This essentially meant that in Racine’s version of a hero, one is not fully guilty due to the emotions that they express but it easy to characterize one as with such guilt. One the many reasons as to why Phèdre makes one of the greatest anti-hero of the 17th century. In order to comprehend as to why Phèdre is the perfect example of a tragic hero, one must know the background from which Phèdre was raised. Phèdre cannot be fully blamed for the emotions and actions that she took out against her family due to “irresistible” and passionate love  she expressed for a stepson because of the Greek goddess, Venus (McCollum 52). Racine wanted society to analyze Phèdre was not in control , essentially making her not fully guilty or innocent due the nature of what makes a tragic hero.Another reason as to why  Phèdre is the ultimate example of a tragic hero is due to the fact that “a hero’s action is guilty from one point of view and innocent from another” (McCollum  53).  Phèdre may seem guilty in the sense that she chooses passion over honor to pursue the possibility that someone could love a person as old as she. She also may be seen as guilty due to the actions she took against stepson and her family when he rejected her love. Phèdre is a tragic hero not only due to the negative outcomes of her actions but also the validity in which she reacted. It is due to the fact that Phèdre’s action make sense to any human being that has faced rejected and can act irrational in certain situations. She can be seen as innocent because people do make mistakes in the heat of the moment. This is what Racine wanted to display when he had visualized his type of hero known as the tragic hero.  Nonetheless, Racine’s Phèdre was to show that every man was guilty (McCollum 54). Phèdre’s character is meant to show the audience that no one can ever be perfect. She is also meant to show that choosing love over honor is a flaw but a flaw worth having due to nature of emotions. The flaws found in  Phèdre’s character are seen as a way for society to relate to fictional character that also makes mistakes and suffer from the consequences of those actions. Phèdre is the epitome of a tragic hero because of how realistic the emotions she feels and the actions she performs. The tragic hero does not follow the moral track but follows what is dear to their heart.