In the story of Braveheart there is a nobleman by the name of Robert the Bruce. Robert is a good man, even though he does some things that are frowned upon by his people, this is what makes Robert a tragic hero. A tragic hero is well liked, but because of his flaws he has a tragic downfall and in the end, he redeems himself. In the story of Braveheart, Robert shows all the aspects of a tragic hero in his life, a high point, a tragic flaw, a tragic downfall and finally redemption.
The first characteristic that makes Robert a tragic hero happens before his downfall when the story shows him as leader and a well-respected man. He is a nobleman, pushing for the crown of Scotland. Even the main character of the story, William Wallace, told Robert "If you would just led them, they would follow you." Wallace is asking Robert to lead the people of Scotland to freedom from the English. Robert also wants to be just like Wallace in that; he wants to have the respect of the people, he wants the people to love him, and he wants to lead them like William Wallace. In September 1297 an English army command by the Earl of Surrey was defeated by Wallace and Bruce at the Battle of Stirling Bridge (Bingham 1). This battle marked the first battle where Robert really showed the people his strength as a leader. This first battle gave Robert the respect and love of the Scottish people; it made him a national hero.
The next characteristic that makes Robert the Bruce a tragic hero is his passion to be King of Scotland. This flaw has him put his desire for the crown, in front of the goodness of Scotland and it's people. Robert, in an attempt to gain the crown, sought reconciliation with King Edward I (Bingham 8). The reason why he does this is that he does not truly believe that the Scottish warriors can defeat the English so the only way he thinks he is going to get the crown is if he is on good terms with Edward, King of England.