Oedipus The Tragic Hero Of Oedipus And Oedipus Rex Essay

Oedipus The Tragic Hero Of Oedipus And Oedipus Rex Essay

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Oedipus the Tragic Hero
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.

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