Oedipus the King, a Classic Tragedy
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.
Tragedy is like a roll of the dice. Although you may feel like you are in control, there is nothing you can do to control the outcome. Fate cannot be changed, and in Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, Oedipus Rex learns this the hard way when he tries his best to avoid and change the tragedy that was prophesied when he was born. Oedipus ends up living a life full of fear of a prophecy he cannot stop, however, he ends the play nobly and tries to fix the wrongs he had done by giving himself punishment by gouging his eyes out and exiling himself from his own kingdom, as well as ensuring that his daughters will not follow the same fate that he did.
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.
Oedipus is widely known for being the man that killed his father and married his mother. After Oedipus finds out about what he has done he proceeds to jab both of his eyes out and remains blind for the rest of his life. By Oedipus doing this it means that his fate that was told to his parents at the beginning of the story had come true. With Oedipus jabbing his eyes out, this made it clear that this was a tragedy. Oedipus is the perfect fit of being a tragic hero. First of all by being born into royalty and throughout his life he held a royal persona. Also he makes some choices that leads him to his own destruction. For example, with him already marrying his mother and his mother had already had several of his kids their was nothing that he could do when he found out that his wife was also his mother. In the story as he went back to confront his mother/wife, she had already hung herself. As for being a hero, he done many heroic things throughout his life. For example, when he arrived at the city where he met his mother and father, there
Human beings have been fascinated and borderline obsessed with the idea of fate and predestination for centuries, as can be seen in various forms of literature dating back thousands of years to biblical eras. During these times, fate, or the idea that events in one's life are beyond an individual's control, was often the explanation to a majority of life's happenings. People believed in, and ultimately relied on faith so heavily during this time that the concept of finding the truth for oneself is often considered by experts as heroic. That is the argument that scholar Bernard Knox makes in his assessment of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, and it is arguable that there is much evidence in the story itself that supports this conclusion that Oedipus
Oedipus was often looked upon as exceptional rather than typical; a prominent man brought from happiness to misery. His character’s stature is important because it makes his fall all the more horrific. In today’s world, newscasts are filled with daily reports of tragedies, such as a child being struck and killed by a car; an airplane crash; or a devastating fire. A literary tragedy presents courageous individuals who confront powerful forces within or outside themselves with a dignity that reveals the depth of the human spirit in the face of failure, defeat, and even death.
Oedipus the Tragic Hero
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.
Oedipus: The Tragic Hero
“A man doesn’t become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall.” – Aristotle.
In Oedipus the King, Oedipus attended to escape the prophecy that was given in Corinth, but in reality, he ended up running towards his true doom that lied within Thebes.
“Perhaps I should have killed you all long ago when I had the chance,” Charles said his voice filled with anger. “I told you on the first we arrived that I would kill you, and I plan to make that promise a reality,” Arthur exclaimed. Arthur walks over to Charles places his hands on the barbarian's shoulders and peers into his hazel colored eyes. “If there was even a man who needed to take his own life it would be you, but I guess since you won't burden yourself with such a task then I will have to do it,” Arthur said. Before Arthur could even raise his sword to Charles' neck the barbarian had unsheathed a dagger that he had hidden under the fur pelt he was wearing and used it to slit his own throat. A dark red fluid leaked out of Charles' throat
A man doesn't become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall. This saying from Aristotle, one the most well-known Greek philosophers known today, compliments his theory that each tragic hero possesses five specific characteristics. These five characteristics include the possession of a hamartia, a fatal flaw leading to the downfall of a tragic hero; peripeteia, reversal of fortune; anagnorisis, moments where a critical discovery is made; hubris, excessive pride; and nemesis, fate greater than deserved. Furthermore, these five characteristics are what ultimately lead to the hero’s downfall. In the Greek tragedy Oedipus Tyrannus by Sophocles, Oedipus, the king of Thebes, finds that he fulfilled a prophecy by killing his own father