Oedipus The King Research Paper

analytical Essay
759 words
759 words

Oedipus the King
Oedipus Rex is believed to be one of the best classical examples of the Greek classical order and what tragedy represents. Many Greek tragedies include a central character that is known to be the “tragic hero”. In Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, Oedipus the main character plays this role. This paper will give a brief summary of some of the characteristics of a tragic hero, while also analyzing all the major events that lead to Oedipus rise and downfall.
Oedipus, the king of Thebe’s tragedy modelled Aristotle’s theorizing’s of what tragedy is in his book the Poetics. The play has a very well-constructed plot that follows Greek classical order. Aristotle and subsequent critics have labeled Oedipus the ideal tragic hero.
A brief summary of the play: Oedipus is the son of the King and the Queen of Thebes. The king Laius learns from an oracle that his son will grow up to murder him and marry his wife. Horrified at the prophecy Laius sends his son to be killed to avoid the prophecy from becoming true. The servant pity’s the baby and gives the child to someone else who then gives it to their king and queen who were unable to have children. Oedipus grows up and goes to the oracle who then tells him about the prophecy. Afraid of what might happen he leaves the kingdom trying to avoid the prophecy as well. While on the road he crosses paths with a group of males and get into a confrontation, the fight escalates and Oedipus kills them not knowing that one of them is Laius his father. He continues and arrives at Thebes and sees that a sphinx has taken the city hostage. He resolved the riddle of the sphinx, which had been killing the young men of Thebes. By solving the riddle he became highly praised by the city of Thebes. As...

... middle of paper ...

... parents. His initial intention was to relieve Oedipus from his fears of the prophecy; instead the results prove to be contradictory to his initial intent. The messenger provides him with critical information that immediately reveals to Oedipus that he was not successful in preventing the prophecy his actions lead him right into it. As Aristotle recommends, this is directly connected to the anagnorisis, for the messenger and the herdsman are the missing link to Oedipus true story. The messenger enables him to “recognize” his true identity, he gains the initial knowledge he lacked. The peripeteia and anagnorisis changes Oedipus fortune. His good fortune turns out to be a catastrophe that leads to suffering. His actions will be considered a setback of his intentions, and each of them will give him more insight of the truth that will eventually lead to his downfall.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that oedipus the king is believed to be one of the best classical examples of greek classical order and what tragedy represents.
  • Analyzes how oedipus, the king of thebe, modelled aristotle's theorizing of what tragedy is in his book the poetics. the play follows greek classical order.
  • Analyzes how oedipus is the son of the king and the queen of thebes. the king laius learns from an oracle that his son will grow up to murder him and marry his wife.
  • Explains that oedipus is a man of noble stature with an outstanding quality and greatness about him. he is the son of the king and queen of thebes.
  • Explains that aristotle specifies that every tragic hero must have hamartia, but their failing must be neither a specific personal characteristic nor one determined by impulse.
  • Analyzes how oedipus has many flaws, namely his poor temperament, carelessness, curiosity, and pride. his hamartia is considered more of a "mistake" rather than an omission.
  • Analyzes how the plot in a greek tragedy involves reversal of fortune (peripeteia) and recognition of an unknown person's identity (anagnorisis).
Get Access