The first criterion of a Greek tragedy is that the protagonist be a good person; doubly blessed with a good heart and noble intention. Sophocles reveals immediately at the start of the play that Oedipus is such a man. As is common in the Greek tragedy, Oedipus is also an aristocrat. Born of the King and Queen of Thebes he is of true nobility. Oedipus on the other-hand believes his parents are the King and Queen of Corinth. Oedipus was abandoned as a baby and adopted by them. Because that information is known to the audience, and not to Oedipus prior to the start of the play, it is a perfect example of tragic irony because when he declares that he will find the murderer he is the man that he pursues. Here he is told by Tiresias,” I say you Laius’ murderer — He whom you seek.” (Sophocles 14). The theme of Oedipus the King is not clear-cut. The theme in this tragic play seems to be you can‘t escape your fate. Contentment leads to ignorance as Oedipus lends fate a hand in his bitter end. This trait is touched-on in these lines spoken by C...
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...tle in the poetics, comparing the effects of tragedy on the mind of spectator to the effect of a cathartic on the body. Oedipus Rex qualifies as a “perfect” tragedy. Yet, Aristotle’s definition of a tragedy is somewhat considerably shortsighted. “Tragedy, then, is a process of imitating an action which has serious implications, is complete, and possesses magnitude; by means of language which has been made sensuously attractive…”(AS.O.T). When one wonders about a tragedy one thinks Horrific Devestation, and mass death and many sad things, when in theory, in all a tragedy can be summed up as much as it being, an aristocrat with excessive pride, and that makes them have a tragic downfall and it makes the audience change emotions quickly. Oedipus Rex fits each category Aristotle established thousands of years ago, making it The greatest of the classic Greek tragedies.
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