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.
Even though fate victimizes Oedipus, he is a tragic figure since his own heroic qualities, his loyalty to Thebes, and his fidelity to the truth ruin him. In The Poetics, the greatest statement of classical dramatic theory, Aristotle cites Oedipus as the best example of Greek tragedy. According to Aristotle, Oedipus is a tragic hero because he is not perfect, but has tragic flaws (hamartia). Aristotle points out that Oedipus' tragic flaw is excessive pride (hubris) and self-righteousness. Aristotle also enlightens certain characteristics that determine a tragic hero.
Aristotle, the great philosopher who lived from 384 B.C. - 322 B.C. in ancient Greece, defined a tragedy as “a drama treating a serious subject and involving persons of significance.” (1062) According to Aristotle, the protagonist of a tragedy (the “tragic hero”) required three basic characteristics. Firstly he or she must be deemed worthy via an exalted status and/or noble qualities. Secondly he or she must have a tragic flaw (hamartia) that leads to his or her downfall and finally a tragic hero must experience a downfall and recognize the reasons for that downfall.
It is a fact clearly evident from this contextual standpoint that Oedipus Rex and consequently Oedipus, the hero of the play, serve as the most original incarnation--typical example--of the theory of tragedy. So the point now is whether or not Oedipus' has a multi-dimensional and controversial character does not alter the validity of the aforementioned fact, that Oedipus Rex is a model tragedy, simply because of three reasons: First, Oedipus still retains much of the characteristics of tragic heroes, like his noble origin and also position, goodness especially as a king, tragic flaws and irreversible mistakes. Second, the issue of fate, on which the controversiality of Oedipus is based, is to be taken from a special perspective where the age of mythology is taken into consideration. Third, if we are to admit that Oedipus' tragic end is doomed by fate, then this will functionally enrich the play as a tragedy rather than devaluate it. Oedipus is endowed mostly all tragic characteristics that qualify him for a model tragic hero.
Throughout our history, many genres have survived the test of time. One of the most well known and popular genre is the tragedy. A tragedy tells a story of the downfall of a basically good person through some fatal error or misjudgment, producing suffering and insight on the part of the protagonist and arousing pity and fear on the part of the audience. One of the main authorities on tragedy is ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle. His piece of literature, Poetics, is highly regarded as one of the main sources used to define what makes a tragedy.
A tragic hero is usually someone of high status or a member of royalty. They have a tragic flaw or personal weakness that lead to their downfall. The idea of a tragic hero comes from ancient greek plays, which were developed from their religious stories. Many of these play were written by Sophocles; an ancient greek playwright. Sophocles’ work mostly consisted of tragedies, Aristotle - a Greek philosopher - observed Sophocles’ plays and defined tragedy and tragic hero.
By having the predictions made by the oracles come true; it led to the downfall of Oedipus. The oracles coming true created catharsis in the audience by causing them to have pity and fear for the fallen king. Aristotle’s definition of a tragedy is: It is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and possessing magnitude; in embellished language, each kind of which is used separately in the different parts; in the mode of action and not narrated; and effecting through pity and fear the catharsis of emotions. (1149) The story begins by having the audience feel pity for the people of Thebes. The Priest tells Oedipus, “Plague blackens our flowering farmland, sickens our cattle where they graze.
Unfortunately for Oedipus, conceit and pride are only half his problem, the other half stems from Greek religion, and that means "the Greek gods," Zeus and Apollo. Once again, trouble reigns in the city of Thebes. The city's trouble and the gods' religious stronghold, lead Oedipus in a direction that can only be describe... ... middle of paper ... ...wer, choice, and fate; the four driving forces behind the character of Oedipus, and it is in those forces that Oedipus can assign the blame for his misfortune. "A Greek Tragedy shows how great men and women, although they may have fine ideals, sometimes end in failure and misery" (Schoenheim. The New Book of Knowledge.
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.
John Proctor as Tragic Hero of Arthur Miller's The Crucible In the play, The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, John Proctor fits the classic Greek definition of a tragic hero. Aristotle, one of the great Greek philosophers, teachers and writers, stated that one of the most important aspects of a tragedy was the tragic hero. He defined a tragic hero as a noble person that goes from a state of fortune and happiness to a state of utter misery. The character’s tragic flaw causes this change. Aristotle stated that witnessing the downfall of the character triggered an emotional release, which left the audience feeling relieved because they have empathized with the character, but not upset because the downfall was the character’s own doing.