Oedipus is endowed mostly all tragic characteristics that qualify him for a model tragic hero. He is the son of the queen Iokaste and King Laios, whi... ... middle of paper ... ...milarly, if we take Oedipus' downfall as fated, the tragic value of the play will be enriched since the Catharsis will be intensified. Catharsis means the evocation of two elements in the spectators: pity and fear. A natural audience has more pity for a man whose tragic end is to a great extent fateful rather than for a man whose bad deeds bring about his downfall. Intensifying pity means a Catharsis with a stronger effect and naturally a bonus for the success of the play since achieving Catharsis is a major purpose of any tragedy.
Love can guide people to make crazy decisions, and therefore it can possibly lead to ones fate. Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shakespeare is a tragedy in which two lovers took their lives to settle an ancient feud. In contrast, Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles, is where the protagonist is blind to the truth, and therefore gouged his eyes out to deal with his flaw. Although both tragedies are somewhat similar, the difference between them is much greater. Oedipus the King better fits Aristotle’s definition of a tragedy because it demonstrates that the protagonist: endured uncommon suffering, that the tragic hero recognized the consequences of their actions, and that the audience experienced catharsis from the play.
Hamlet¡¦s situation, for example, is considered a tragic one although it differs from the relatively simple plots found in the earlier Greek tragedies. He is a nobleman, revered by his countrymen, who strives to alter the world around him. Ultimately, he must forfeit his own life to see justice done. The plot that unfolds in Shakespeare¡¦s drama includes politics, murder, and domestic strife, but still evokes pity and terror in the audience, precisely as intended by the early tragedians. Students can analyze the elements of tragedy in Hamlet, comparing and contrasting Prince Hamlet¡¦s plight with that of tragic heroes in Greek tragedies and in modern tragedies.
Narcissistic Oedipus – Tragic Hero In the play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, Oedipus is a classic tragic hero. According to Aristotle's definition, Oedipus is a tragic hero because he is a king whose life falls apart when he finds out his life story. There are a number of characteristics described by Aristotle that identify a tragic hero. For example, a tragic hero must cause his own downfall; his fate is not deserved, and his punishment exceeds the crime; he also must be of noble stature and have greatness. Oedipus is in love with his idealized self.
Secondly he or she must have a tragic flaw (hamartia) that leads to his or her downfall and finally a tragic hero must experience a downfall and recognize the reasons for that downfall. The play “Oedipus the King”, written by the great ancient Greek tragic dramatist Sophocles in 430 B.C. was chosen by Aristotle as an ideal model to illustrate his definition of tragedy. The character Oedipus has all three of the necessary characteristics of a tragic hero and reveals that self-examination is the key to our ability to accept responsibility for our actions. When Oedipus finally sees the truth, he blinds and exiles himself as punishment which illustrates his understanding of why and acceptance of what he has done.
Irony used from beginning to end and with each statement made by Oedipus about finding the killer of Laius. Although the audience is familiar with the story they are fully invested in Oedipus. Because Sophocles uses irony in his play it makes the audience empathize with the protagonist. Oedipus becomes human, a tangible character that experiences the same emotions as everyday people. The thing that makes Oedipus even more human is that he is a victim of a fate assigned to him before he was born.
In Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, Oedipus embodies the traits that a tragic hero should have, including being greater than the average man and possessing an ultimately benevolent character, while also following the plot line that a tragic hero must by coming to a great fall through external circumstances and internal character traits and accepting responsibility for his fall. Many explanations of Greek tragedies and the tragic hero expound that the hero must be “extraordinary rather than typical” in order to make his or her fall more distressing to the audience (“Tragedy” 1221). The creation of the tragic hero has also been described as “an imitation of persons who are better than the average” (Aristotle). The placement of the tragic hero above the rest of mankind creates feelings of fear associated with the impending and unavoidable fall by reminding the audience of the vulnerabilities to which all men are susceptible (“Tragedy” 1223). If the greatest men can come to a bitter end, any normal person would be defenseless against that fate.
The play “Oedipus Rex” was written by an ancient Greek playwright named Sophocles. Sophocles is known for his compelling tragedies and well-rounded characters. The protagonist of Sophocles’ play “Oedipus Rex” is an honorable man however, chooses to lead a life of arrogance and pride known as hubris. This hubris is what ultimately causes Oedipus to unknowingly cause his own tragic demise. Oedipus fulfills the prerequisites set by Aristotle for a tragic hero.
According to Aristotle’s Poetics, a tragedy must involve a reversal of fortune of the main character. This character must be of great character and dignity so that his downfall is all the more spectacular which leads to the audience feeling pity and fear; two essential traits required for a drama to be defined as a tragedy. This downfall is triggered by a fatal mistake, or as Aristotle defined, Hamartia. One wouldn’t expect all these qualities to be detected within two mere soliloquies; the entire work is what makes a tragedy. However, the whole work can only be approached through analysis of individual elements and two of these elements are the soliloquies in Act I Scene 2 and Act III Scene 1.
In Aristotle’s definition, the tragic hero must be a person of high standing so their fall from glory will be all the more horrible. The hero’s story must evoke pity for the hero and fear of his fall, so the hero cannot be completely evil. Also, the hero must have a tragic flaw, a characteristic that, in excess, causes him to bring some disaster upon himself, and because of this, he cannot be completely good either. It is important to note that the root of the term tragic flaw is the Greek word “hamartia”, which is actually better translated as an error in judgement. Often this flaw or error has to do with fate a character tempts fate, thinks he can change fate or doesn't realize what fate has in store for him.