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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