Characteristics of a Tragic Hero in Oedipus the King by Sophocles

1238 Words Feb 4th, 2018 5 Pages
Oedipus The King was written by a well-known tragic dramatist named Sophocles. This story is considered to be one of the greatest tragedies of all time. In fact, the Marjorie Barstow of the Classical Weekly says that it “fulfills the function of a tragedy, and arouses fear and pity in the highest degree” (Barstow). It is also very controversial because of the relationship that Oedipus has with his mother, although it was unknown at the time that they were related. The qualifications of a tragic hero, according to Aristotle, include coming from a royal family and falling from power due to actions that only the protagonist can take responsibility for. The main character must also have a tragic flaw, which is defined as a “weakness in character” (Gioia). There have been many protagonists in other plays that represent a tragic hero, but none exemplify Aristotle’s tragic hero traits quite as well as Oedipus does because of many reasons including his royal history, his tragic flaw, his hamartia, and his his fall from power. Being part of a royal family was the first qualification of being a tragic hero, according to Aristotle. Oedipus was originally born into a royal family. He was the son of Lauis and Jocasta, who were the king and queen of Thebes. After he was born, a prophet told his father that Oedipus would eventually rise up and kill his father. No wanting to take…

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