Oedipus Rex: The Tragic Heros Essay examples

Oedipus Rex: The Tragic Heros Essay examples

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Most people in the 21st century usually do not imagine a hero as one who goes around killing his father, marrying his mother, and fathering his siblings, but all those contradictory notions made sense to the Greeks watching Oedipus Rex. Oedipus, the titular character of Sophocles’ infamous play, belongs with the typical tragic hero category, a grouping of noble, courageous heroes who deserves respect regardless of a fatal weakness in their character. As for Oedipus himself, his extreme pride, known as hubris to the Greeks, is the singular weakness that foreshadows his fall from the graceful dignity of a king into the tragic shame of an exile. Despite his noble intentions for not just his people, but also for his parents and children, Oedipus’ arrogance against the gods in believing he had outwitted his grotesque fate ultimately destroys his family and kingly honor. As Oedipus is a noble and courageous person who is worthy of respect despite his tragic character weakness of hubris, his character fully represents the definition of a tragic hero.
Oedipus’ noble character is clearly seen and portrayed throughout the play as an obvious constituent to the character of the tragic hero. His gracious character is clearly promulgated among the people since the exposition of the play, as seen when the priest of the city calls out for the “noblest of men [to] restore life to … [the] city” (Prologue, Lines 48-49). Oedipus’ love for his people is unmatched: not only has he rescued the people of Thebes from the Sphinx, he unashamedly weeps in sorrow for his people since the discovery of the curse from the gods that has been set upon the city. Likewise, Oedipus cares for his adoptive parents so nobly that he flees from his own home in fear of d...


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...izing the very same hubris intended for Oedipus’ expression of free will (Ode III, Scene IV, Line 61). With the tragic flaw of hubris in his character, Oedipus is conclusively defined as a tragic hero.
Oedipus’ unprecedented nobility, impregnable courage, and tragic hubris all contribute to a powerful representation of a tragic hero. Despite his fall from grace as a tragic result of extreme arrogance, Oedipus is a hero worthy of respect and sympathy due to his love for his people and family. Not only does he shoulder the burdens of both gods and men with a courageous spirit, but Oedipus sticks to his promises as a king and as an exile. While men may ask if the protagonist of Sophocles’ play could have found a better way to deal with his repulsive fate, all men cannot help but tip their hats to the exemplary tragic hero known as Oedipus Rex.


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