Oedipus, A Tragic Hero

1648 WordsOct 16, 20157 Pages
Oedipus, a Tragic Hero Bob Livingston Liberty University Sophocles presented the world with Oedipus around 2500 years ago. Never-the-less, the story remains among the most riveting of all time. He was, in fact, a man that was driven by a very high internal moral standard. It was that internal moral standard that ultimately entwined him in a sequence of events and circumstances that placed him in the spousal relationship with his mother. Oedipus, in fact, can truly be regarded as a tragic hero as Aristotle himself defined the term. Considering Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero, it can be found that Oedipus fits the character description flawlessly through various traits that he displays and the foundation of his tragic fall: Just as tragic heroes and heroines have been identified with different eras and cultures, the classical ideal of the tragic hero will be incomplete if the concept of tragedy is not focalized. This paper, therefore, looks at how the classical period defined and delineated its tragic hero based on the action and the plot of the play. The paper provides extracts from Sophocles’ King Oedipus as the main text and Euripides’ Iphigenia in Tauris as a supporting text to present Oedipus as the tragic hero. Textual analysis shows that the delineation of the tragic hero lies in the source or context of the tragic situation. Sophocles and Euripides’ views on the tragic hero are similar to Aristotle’s concept of “hamartia” of the classical period.

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