Aristotle also enlightens certain characteristics that determine a tragic hero. Using Oedipus as an ideal model, Aristotle says that a tragic hero must be an important or influential man who commits an error in judgment, and who must then suffer the consequences of his actions. The tragic hero must learn a lesson from his errors in judgment, his tragic flaw, and become an example to the audience of what happens when great men fall from their arrogant social or political positions. According to Aristotle, a tragedy must be an imitation of life in the form of a serious story that is complete in it; in other words, the story must be realistic and narrow in focus. A good tragedy will evoke pity and fear in its viewers, causing the viewers to experience a feeling of catharsis.
A major feature of tragedy is the use of a tragic hero. A tragic hero can be defined as the principle character in a tragedy who begins in a position of social importance and who is held in high esteem, but through an error of judgement brings about their own downfall and destruction. In the case of Oedipus the King, this role is fulfilled by Oedipus, who is led by his hamartia (tragic flaw) to do something that ultimately leads to his downfall. Aristotle also outlined the characteristics of a good tragic hero. He must be "better than we ar... ... middle of paper ... ...of the gods, or even their own common sense.
Brutus’ ultimate downfall by one or two negative traits would have shocked the intended audience and perhaps affected how they viewed themselves, making Brutus a very effective character. Shakespeare created a slightly flawed character have a moment of clarity followed by a violent death, and he did this to notify the public of a major problem with his day’s ethics. The noble Brutus was destroyed by a handful of minute details in his own character. This alarming message is the reason this play is still studied. Works Cited "Hero."
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.
Jocasta as the Victim of Oedipus the King The play Oedipus the King by Sophocles has often been described as the story of a “tragic hero.” This story is indeed tragic; however, Oedipus is not the only character stricken by tragedy. Equally stricken may be the character of Jocasta. She, as well as Oedipus, suffers many tragedies throughout the story. Shifting the story to a different perspective quite possibly may increase how we view it. The point is not to denounce Oedipus’ role as a tragic hero, but to denounce his role as the only tragic character.
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.
Brutus also suffered a downfall that would classify him as tragic hero according to Aristotle. The plot of Caesar’s downfall and after his death added to the tragedy of the play. Thought within the play further proved the Tragedy of Julius Caesar to be, in fact, a tragedy by Aristotle’s definition, rather than a historical play. Following along Aristotle’s Definition of Tragedy in which the tragedy deals with a vey serious issue of great magnitude, Julius Caesar’s downfall fits the description. The character of Caesar held great arrogance and a sense of immortality.
According to Aristotle, for a tragedy to be both successful and effective there must be a reversal, a "change from one state of affairs to its exact opposite", and there must be recognition, "a change from ignorance to knowledge" on the part of the main character. The plot should not be simple, but complex, being able to garner feelings of fear and pity into the hearts of its audience. Finally the lead character must fall from "prosperity into misfortune" due to a mistake or mistakes on their part. Oedipus contain all these things A good plot in Aristotle view is a complex one. `Oedipus The King" can be as complex as it gets, with so many twists and turns it can never be seen as simple.
Theater is a natural outlet for our desire to hear and tell stories, and in some ways it is even more primal and powerful than the written word. At its worst, theater will merely bore; while at its best it will not only entertain but move and shape its audience. Two such genres of theater, or drama, have consistently achieved this effect. Tragedy, represented by the weeping actors’ mask, usually features the title character’s fall from greatness to ruin, guided by the gods or fate. Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, is the epitome of classic Tragedy, as defined by Aristotle (96-101).
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.