Oedipus is depicted as a “marionette in the hands of a daemonic power”(pg150), but like all tragic hero’s he fights and struggles against fate even when the odds are against him. His most tragic flaw is his morality, as he struggles between the good and the evil of his life. The good is that he was pitied by the Shepard who saved him from death as a baby. The evil is his fate, where he is to kill his father and marry his mother. His hubris or excessive pride and self-righteousness are the lead causes to his downfall. Oedipus is a tragic hero who suffers the consequences of his immoral actions, and must learn from these mistakes. This Aristotelian theory of tragedy exists today, as an example of what happens when men and women that fall from high positions politically and socially.
Oedipus Rex, or Oedipus the King is Sophocles’s first play of “The Theban Cycle.” It tells the story of a king that tries to escape his fate, but by doing so he only brings about his downfall. Oedipus is a classic example of the Aristotelian definition of a tragic hero. Aristotle defines a tragic hero as a basically good and noble person who causes his own downfall due to a flaw in his character.
Aristotle, in his work The Poetics, tries to delineate the idea of a tragedy. Throughout his work Aristotle says that the hero, or at least the protagonist in a tragedy must be substantially good, almost godlike. This hero must bring upon themselves their downfall, due to their fatal flaw. If the hero is not at a high point, an audience will not care about them, and won’t notice their fall. One must fall a long way in social class in order for it to be noticed by the outside man. Oedipus perfectly exemplifies a tragedy, in relation to modern society, effectively showing how too much pride can often lead to downfall or doom.
Arthur Miller alters Aristotle 's definition of the tragic hero and tragedy; Miller suggests that the common man is capable of experiencing the tragedy of a king because they experience "similar emotional situations"(148). Miller points out that the tragic feeling is induced when the character gives up everything to try to guard his personal dignity. The character is flawed but not too faulty in order to be relatable to the common man. However, the character flaw that causes his downfall isn 't a weakness. After his downfall, the common man learns a lesson Although Miller redefines the tragic character, Oedipus is still a suitable example. I completely agree with Arthur Miller’s points about the nature of tragedy and the tragic hero in the context of Oedipus and Oedipus Rex.
As a tragedy Oedipus the King spends the majority of the play discovering who he is, without knowing exactly what is occurring. The tragedy was that he suffered the improbabilities of murdering his father and then marrying his mother, it is a tail of his revelations about his past, and the events that led him to his ultimate fall. In this play, Sophocles illustrated a world of human frailty, pride, and punishment, which helped to propel, with dreadful inevitability, a protagonist moving toward catastrophe. Oedipus is the direct cause of his own undoing, however it is not because he is evil, proud, or weak, but simply because he does not know his true past or who he is. The facts that he believes to be true are unraveled, thus revealing his fate. Oedipus meets the first criterion of a Greek tragedy, which is that the protagonist is a good person. Oedipus has both a good he...
In Sophocles’ work, Oedipus the King, Oedipus definitely fits Aristotle’s meaning of a tragic hero which is a man of honorable importance. He is not a usual man, but a man with outstanding superiority and immensity about himself. A man of his own ruins goes for a greater cause or principle. Oedipus conveys many mistakes. In the play Oedipus the King, things really had taken a turn from good to bad. Using Aristotle’s meaning defines will be proven that Oedipus is a 1main example of a tragic hero Nobleness, Tragic flaw, and Hardship are all characteristics that Aristotle described as to what a tragic hero really define as. These are also four features Oedipus proves his well- being of a catastrophic hero.
The time period of Greek theater’s popularity was a very influential time in our world’s history. Without knowing what Greek theater was all about, how can someone expect to truly understand a tragic play and the history it comes with? The history behind the character of Oedipus, in the play Oedipus the King, is very complicated. His intricate past dealing with prophecies, family members, and murder is the main focus of the story. There are many characteristics that complete Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero; these being the presence of hamartia and peripeteia, a sense of self-awareness, the audience’s pity for the character, and the hero is of noble birth.
Two lovers took their own lives to avoid the consequences, and in contrast while a man gouged his eyes out to deal with his flaw. Although Romeo and Juliet and Oedipus the King were great tragedies, Oedipus the King contains more of the tragic figures described in Aristotle’s definition. First, the protagonist endured uncommon suffering. Second, the tragic hero recognized the consequences of their actions and took responsibility for them. Third and lastly, the audience experienced catharsis. Ignorance and impulsiveness can cause one to stumble and it can ultimately lead to their fate.
The tragic hero is a person of greatness, and noble stature who usually contributes to their own downfall. Oedipus has greatness and noble stature; he’s sublime, in the way that he cares for his people. What leads to his own downfall is his own pride, which came out when he solved the riddle of the Sphinx and was praised by marrying the queen of Thebes, making him feel untouchable, “Here I am myself- you all know me, the world knows my fame: I am Oedipus. (7-9)” His almightiness caused him to feel obligation into saving his city, causing his rejection of reality, thus causing mistakes throughout the play. The prestige he has causes him to find the killer himself, because no other man other than himself can fix this problem causing a quarrel with Creon and Tiresias. Instead of helping, he ruins himself by cursing the killer, which is his own self saying,” I’ll rid us of this corruption. Whoever killed the king may decide to kill me too,” (157-158). Also he denies what Tiresias is telling him, which is the truth, but Oedipus insults him by calling his prophecies “riddles, murk and darkness. (500)” “Here I am myself- you all know me, the world knows my fame: I am Oedipus. (7-9)” .By being in denial he ignores why he left Polybus and ignores Jocasta’s warning that “if you love your own life, call off this search!” (164), but with the greatness he has, he feels that no knowledge can be kept away from him. “Steals against me… so hungry to overthrone me. (439)” out this situation of against his own friend thinking that Creon was pl...
Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles, is a tragic drama that portrays a great deal of irony. Oedipus, the protagonist, suffers serious misfortune that is significant in that the “misfortune is logically connected with the hero’s actions” (AbleMedia LLC). When the reader learns about the background of Greek culture and the life of Sophocles, this tragic drama is able to become more alive and valuable. It is important to familiarize oneself with the author because it allows for a greater connection to the dialogue presented. Through the character development of Oedipus, one can see how ironic circumstances can turn a prideful king into a tragic figure.
... 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.
The great Sophoclean play, Oedipus Rex is an amazing play, and one of the first of its time to accurately portray the common tragic hero. Written in the time of ancient Greece, Sophocles perfected the use of character flaws in Greek drama with Oedipus Rex. Using Oedipus as his tragic hero, Sophocles’ plays forced the audience to experience a catharsis of emotions. Sophocles showed the play-watchers Oedipus’s life in the beginning as a “privileged, exalted [person] who [earned his] high repute and status by…intelligence.” Then, the great playwright reached in and violently pulled out the audience’s most sorrowful emotions, pity and fear, in showing Oedipus’s “crushing fall” from greatness.
Oedipus Rex qualifies as a “perfect” tragedy. Yet, Aristotle’s definition of a tragedy is somewhat considerably shortsighted. “Tragedy, then, is a process of imitating an action which has serious implications, is complete, and possesses magnitude; by means of language which has been made sensuously attractive…”(AS.O.T). When one wonders about a tragedy one thinks Horrific Devestation, and mass death and many sad things, when in theory, in all a tragedy can be summed up as much as it being, an aristocrat with excessive pride, and that makes them have a tragic downfall and it makes the audience change emotions quickly. Oedipus Rex fits each category Aristotle established thousands of years ago, making it The greatest of the classic Greek
Through Aristotle’s specific definition of a tragic hero, it can be concluded that Oedipus is a tragic hero. Oedipus The King was written by a well-known tragic dramatist named Sophocles. This story is considered to be one of the greatest tragedies of all time. In fact, the Marjorie Barstow of the Classical Weekly says that it “fulfills the function of a tragedy, and arouses fear and pity in the highest degree” (Barstow). It is also very controversial because of the relationship that Oedipus has with his mother, although it was unknown at the time that they were related. The qualifications of a tragic hero, according to Aristotle, include coming from a royal family and falling from power due to actions that only the protagonist can take responsibility for. The main character must also have a tragic flaw, which is defined as a “weakness in character” (Gioia). There have been many protagonists in other plays that represent a tragic hero, but none exemplify Aristotle’s tragic hero traits quite as well as Oedipus does because of many reasons including his royal history, his tragic flaw, his hamartia, and his his fall from power.
A tragic hero, as defined by Aristotle, is a man who is great but also terribly flawed, who experiences misfortunes while still remaining admirable to the audience at the end of the play. One of Aristotle’s favorite works, Oedipus the King, a play by Sophocles, is a play that above all others, defines the meaning of what a true tragic hero really is. In the play, Oedipus the King, the story unfolds after Oedipus unintentionally kills his own father and goes on to marry his mother. The events of the play are tragic, but it is the way that Oedipus handles the tragedies that make him a tragic hero.