Essay on Oedipus The King Of All Tragic Heroes

Essay on Oedipus The King Of All Tragic Heroes

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When it comes to the history of drama Sophocles’ Oedipus is the king of all tragic heroes. From killing his own father and marring his own mother Oedipus’s tragic downfall leaves the reader emotionally scarred for life. Yet he still holds on to his morality and prevails past it all. Famous Greek philosopher Aristotle defines what a tragic hero is and Oedipus fits it perfectly. Oedipus is a true embodiment of Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero through his ability to preserve his virtue and wisdom, despite his flaws and predicament.
Aristotle defines a tragic hero as "a [great] man who is neither a paragon of virtue and justice nor undergoes the change to misfortune through any real badness or wickedness but because of some mistake." When Aristotle states “a great man” the hero is neither a villain nor a perfect citizen but is basically good and decent in his nature. The mistake that is mention is some moral blindness or error that is his/her downfall. Also not that the God’s are also in some sense responsible for this hero’s mistake and inevitability his down fall. Also when it comes to a tragic hero Aristotle states that three main things happen to draw attachment of the audience to the character. Aristotle’s believes that first the audience will develop an attachment to the character through their own emotions. Then the audience will fear what may befall the hero, and lastly after the fall the audience feels pity for the hero (Reeves, pp 172-188). A careful examination of Sophocles’ Oedipus shows how Oedipus meets and exceed the parameters of the tragedy and takes the crown as the ideal tragic hero. When it come to the first aspect listed above the emotional attachment the audience builds Oedipus bring them in with his nob...


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... have even faced this fate.
Oedipus is the original tragic hero. Oedipus is a true embodiment of Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero through his ability to preserve his virtue and wisdom, despite his flaws and predicament. He draws you into his emotions from the time you learn he is a noble son of royalty, to when you start to worry about what would happen if he knew he killed his father, to the ultimate downfall of his whole world. He rips the heart of the audience out as he blinds himself for actions that he cannot be blamed for. He then bring out the pity you feel as he leaves him own home blind not knowing where his life will go from there on. One feels the heart break of knowing that you killed your own father. The disgust of lying in the same bed as your mother and bearing children with her. If that isn’t a tragic hero then Aristotle wasn’t a philosopher.

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