The Fall of A Tragic Hero: Oedipus The King Essay

The Fall of A Tragic Hero: Oedipus The King Essay

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Greek theatre was developed out of religious needs. This proves to be an effective way to ensure that its citizens understand fate. The Greeks belief of the time is that one’s fate is predetermined at birth and cannot be altered. A tragedy is a very serious issue of great importance that focuses on one topic. Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, sets the structure for what makes a tragic hero. A tragic hero comes from nobility and rises to greatness; has a dramatic downfall secondary to his or her own hubris; recognizes his or her part in the downfall; and prompts fear and pity in the audience through his or her terrible fate (“Aristotle’s ideas About Tragedy”). Sophocles exemplifies Aristotle’s perfect tragic hero in Oedipus the King. The fate of Oedipus is to become a tragic hero.
Soon after arriving to the city of Thebes, Oedipus a great thinker, solves the riddle of the Sphinx and hence ends the Sphinx’s reign of terror on the city and is proclaimed king. He is then called the “noblest of men!” (Sophocles. Prologue. 46). A hateful plague has taken over the city and leaves it barren. The people of Thebes have come to their king, Oedipus and ask for his help. Oedipus has saved the city once before and has been raised to the status of king for his efforts. He is proud of his status and enjoys being their rescuer so, therefore, he will do what it takes to save them once again. (Cook 4). He states that “to do all that he can / to help another is man’s noblest labor” (Sophocles. Episode I. 319-320). Creon, Oedipus’s brother-in-law, has been to see a prophet who informs him that the city is polluted by the inhabitance of the murderer of King Laius and the plague will not be lifted until the perpetrator is no longer amongst t...

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...taken. He has lived up to the prophecy that has been handed down to him at birth. Oedipus begs to be exiled, but in the end he walks back into the palace.

Works Cited

“Aristotle’s ideas About Tragedy.” University of Chicago, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.
Burt, Daniel S. “Oedipus Rex.” Bloom’s Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
Cook, James Wyatt. “Oedipus Rex.” Bloom’s Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
Fisler, Ben. “Community in Oedipus Rex.” Bloom’s Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
Savoie, John. “Abraham and Oedipus: Paradigms Of Comedic And Tragic Belief.” Renascence 65.4 (2013): 228-248. Humanities Full Text (H.W.Wilson). Web. 22 Apr. 2014.
Sophocles. Oedipus the King. Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing, Ed. Kirszner & Mandell
7th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2011. 1744-1785. Print.

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