Don’t be an oxymoron. Know your literary terms.
Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.
Often thought of as a tragic flaw, hamartia is actually the Greek word for "mistake" or "error." Whatever the case, hamartia is what leads to a hero's downfall in a tragedy, like Macbeth's ambition. Or Cool Hand Luke's penchant for rebellion. Okay, maybe we're stretching it a bit with that last one.