The Arrogance of King Oedipus

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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. The events that conspire prior to the setting of the play create a perfect incubator for a tragic hero to develop. Through the heat of fate and Oedipus’ hubris, Oedipus transforms from a heroic king to a catastrophic excuse of a man. Oedipus loses everyone he loves because of his hasty judgments and arrogant attitude. The play “Oedipus Rex”, exemplifies Aristotle’s assertion of a tragic hero by King Oedipus’ explicit flaw of arrogance causing his fall from nobility and high estate.

Aristotle’s concept of a tragic hero is woven into the plot of “Oedipus Rex”. The criteria for Aristotle’s concept of a tragic hero is that a protagonist is “fallible” and of “high estate”, typical a noblemen. (Kennedy and Giola 856) Aristotle’s tragic hero concept has defined the art of tragedies since its conception. Along with Aristotle’s concept, the character Oedipus can be further defined as having “a weakness the Greeks called hubris – extreme pride, leading to overconfidence.” (Kennedy and Giola 857) Oedipus exhibits this personality flaw of hubris throughout the play, and it is the hubris tied with arrogance that causes of his tragic fall from nobility. Aristotle’s concept of a tragic hero and the Greeks definition of hubris are essential for a more than superficial understanding of the...

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Works Cited

Hogan, James C. A Commentary On The Plays Of Sophocles. Southern Illinois University Press, 1991. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 31 Mar. 2012.

Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Giola. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing. Boston: Pearson, 2010. Book.

"Oedipus." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 30 Mar. 2012. .

Sophocles, and E. H. Plumptre. Oedipus Rex. BiblioBytes, n.d. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 1 Apr. 2012.

Edmunds, Lowell. Oedipus. Routledge, 2006. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 1 Apr. 2012.

Knox, Bernard MacGregor Walker. Oedipus At Thebes : Sophocles' Tragic Hero And His Time. Yale University Press, 1998. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 2 Apr. 2012.
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