Arthur Miller alters Aristotle 's definition of the tragic hero and tragedy; Miller suggests that the common man is capable of experiencing the tragedy of a king because they experience "similar emotional situations"(148). Miller points out that the tragic feeling is induced when the character gives up everything to try to guard his personal dignity. The character is flawed but not too faulty in order to be relatable to the common man. However, the character flaw that causes his downfall isn 't a weakness. After his downfall, the common man learns a lesson Although Miller redefines the tragic character, Oedipus is still a suitable example. I completely agree with Arthur Miller’s points about the nature of tragedy and the tragic hero in the context of Oedipus and Oedipus Rex.
According to Miller, the hero 's tragic flaw is initiated by the character himself. In spite of being called a "flaw", this trait is not a shortcoming but merely the character 's "inherent unwillingness to remain passive in the face of what he conceives to be a challenge to his dignity"(148). Upon hearing about what he has to do to end Thebes ' calamity, Oedipus instantly starts cursing not only Laius ' murderer but also whoever may be hiding him and himself. Oedipus is unable to wait an entire day before losing control and demanding to know the truth about Laius ' murderer and where he comes from. Although Miller refers to the flaw as "nothing", it is enough to cause the tragic hero 's demise. Oedipus ' hubris is ultimately what causes his downfall.
Throughout the beginning and middle of the play, Oedipus ' hamartia is evident. In the opening scene Oedipus tells his people, "Oh my children… Huddling at my altar, praying before me?"(li...
... middle of paper ...
... is that Oedipus is still greatly under the guidance of Fortune, but rather than favoring him, it destroys him.
A misconception of tragedy, according to Miller, is that is associated directly
with pessimism. While on the other hand, it seems to be more directly associated
with optimism. This is due to the fact that tragedies portray man’s perseverance
in the face of unmatchable odds, and desperate yet indestructible strive for
humanity. One face that even more increases the tragedy is the fact that this
strive for humanity has a chance of possibility. Possible victories must be
present in tragedies according to Miller. A balance between what is possible and
what is impossible, makes victory appear possible and therefore elevating defeat
to a higher level. It seems that Miller’s thesis is true, that the worst of
tragedies can happen to either a King or a common man.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Tragedy; it’s inevitable. In life, everyone is bound to experience a rough time. These rough times and flaws are what test a hero and build character. Someone experiencing hard times transforms an average person and his mistakes into something remarkable and heroic. What characteristics make him a tragic hero rather than just an ordinary person. A hero is a person who is admired for courageous acts, noble qualities and outstanding achievements. Despite possessing the same qualities as an ordinary hero, a tragic hero, who is born a noble birth and usually male, has a fatal flaw that ultimately leads to his ruin.... [tags: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Jocasta, Sophocles]
1001 words (2.9 pages)
- Tragedy; it’s inevitable. In life, everyone is bound to experience a rough time. These rough times and flaws are what test a hero and build character. Someone experiencing hard times transforms an average person and his mistakes into something remarkable and heroic. What characteristics make a him a tragic hero rather than just an ordinary person. A hero is a person who is admired for courageous acts, noble qualities and outstanding achievements. Despite possessing the same qualities as an ordinary hero, a tragic hero, who is born a noble birth and usually male, has a fatal flaw that ultimately leads to his ruin.... [tags: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Jocasta, Sophocles]
711 words (2 pages)
- Although this argument can be supported using evidence from the text, Dodds, in his essay On Misunderstanding Oedipus Rex refutes this idea: that of Oedipus having a hamartia that seals his fate. He argues that, even if Oedipus does have several flaws that are detrimental to his otherwise noble character, none of them are relevant. He says, “Years before the action of the play begins, Oedipus was already an incestuous parricide; I that was a punishment for his unkind treatment of Creon, then the punishment preceded the crime—which is surely an odd kind of justice” (220).... [tags: Oedipus, Sophocles, Oedipus the King, Jocasta]
1210 words (3.5 pages)
- According to Aristotle, the main function of a theatre production was to make impression on the audience. The emotional state of the main character is one of the most decisive factors for a successful theatre performance. The famous tragedy “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles is the best known exemplification of Aristotle’s concept of the tragic hero and a perfect example of the key element of making an impression. The protagonist, Oedipus, is a strong leader, a righteous king and a famous man for his heroics making his grievous fall from grace that much more dramatic and emotional for the audience.... [tags: Tragedy, Tragic hero, Character, Sophocles]
1284 words (3.7 pages)
- Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles, tells the tale of Oedipus, a tragic hero. Oedipus sets out to rid his city, Thebes, of the plague by finding the murderer of Laius. However, along the way, he finds that he was the one that killed Laius and married the widowed queen Jocasta, his mother. Because of Oedipus’ high rank, high morals, flaws, recognition, and there being reversals and a catharsis within the play, Oedipus is classified as an Aristotelian tragic hero. Because of his high status in society and his high morals, Oedipus can be considered a tragic hero.... [tags: morals, flaws, recogition]
587 words (1.7 pages)
- If one is familiar with Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero, one may consider King Oedipus, from Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, as a potential example of an ideal tragic hero. Sophocles exemplifies the definition of a tragic hero in his portrayal of King Oedipus, in addition to masterfully constructing a tragedy that has lasted the ages and continues to thrive as a classic work of literature to this day. A brief review of Oedipus Rex reveals key elements when defining a tragic hero. The first is the situation, as it unfolds, is complex in nature.... [tags: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Sophocles, Jocasta]
1456 words (4.2 pages)
- The Tragic Hero of Oedipus Rex According to the ancient Greeks and Aristotle the hero is a person who possesses superior qualities of mind and body, and who proves his superiority by doing great deeds of valor, strength, or intellect. In Sophocles' Oedipus Rex the main character Oedipus possesses these characteristics of a true hero, which in turn lead to his self-destruction. In the beginning of the play Oedipus's great intellect is made known by the chorus who see him as someone who has proven his wisdom, someone who has single-handedly saved Thebes in years present from the Sphinx, and someone who is adored by his people.... [tags: Papers]
1371 words (3.9 pages)
- Pride and the Tragic Hero in Oedipus Rex and Othello Pride is one of the seven deadly sins. Most proud people will never consider themselves to be truly proud until they come face to face with the consequences of their pride. Sophocles and Shakespeare both address this dilemma in their plays Oedipus Rex and Othello. Through their nobility, their tragic flaws, the fall these flaws cause, and the suffering and wisdom they derive from these falls, Oedipus and Othello reveal the true character of the tragic hero and show the devastating consequences of pride.... [tags: Othello Oedipus Rex Shakespeare Sophocles]
1208 words (3.5 pages)
- Oedipus as the Ideal Tragic Hero of Oedipus the King In the introduction to Sophocles' Oedipus the King, Sophocles defines a tragic hero as one who "[behaves] admirably as a man, [but who] is nevertheless tripped up by forces beyond his control and understanding..." (Sophocles 76). In Oedipus the King, Oedipus is the tragic hero. The force that "trips up" the hero is fate, or, moira. It is Oedipus's actions that set the events into motion, but it is ultimately his fate, and his attempted aversion to it, that brings about his downfall.... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
1213 words (3.5 pages)
- Oedipus Rex as the Ideal Tragic Hero If we give ourselves up to a full sympathy with the hero, there is no question that the Oedipus Rex fulfills the function of a tragedy, and arouses fear and pity in the highest degree. But the modern reader, coming to the classic drama not entirely for the purpose of enjoyment, will not always surrender himself to the emotional effect. He is apt to worry about Greek fatalism and the justice of the downfall of Oedipus, and, finding no satisfactory solution for these intellectual difficulties, loses half the pleasure that the drama was intended to produce.... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
1261 words (3.6 pages)