Oedipus: The Greek Tragic Hero

Decent Essays
A tragic hero is defined as an influential person who holds a high position in society and maintains a strong hold on their life, but then suddenly falls into misfortune because of an error in judgment. At the beginning of the play, Oedipus was portrayed as a great and powerful king. The Choragos, which is the voice of the people of Thebes, praise their king and outwardly show their respect towards him throughout the whole tragedy. Oedipus is the archetypal Greek tragic hero in the play because he is the original hero who had everything in his life: the throne, a wife, a family, and his people who praised him, but then he loses it all. At the start of the play, a tragic crisis became a very important aspect of the character’s lives. Oedipus learns that the king, Laios, has been murdered, and that it is his job to find the murderer. Until he discovers the mystery of Laios’ death, a dreadful plague will hang over the heads’ of all of the Thebians. Oedipus was faced with this task and knew that the lives of his people were in his hands. Within the chaos of this tragic event, Oedipus is further worshiped for defeating the Sphinx, the terrible monster of Thebes.…show more content…
The second he realizes what he has done, his power, morals, and self-confidence diminish. The fact that his self-confidence is stripped from him is very significant because since the beginning of the play, he was known for his hubris, or over-bearing pride. Once he began to decline, things kept getting worse. Out of shame and embarrassment Jocaste, Oedipus’ mother and wife, kills herself. As this heightens the pain that Oedipus suffers, he stabs his eyes with his mother’s broach. The darkness that Oedipus now sees symbolizes ignorance and is one of the important motifs in the play. After seeing Oedipus’ fate unfolds, we understand why he is considered the archetypal Greek tragic hero in, Oedipus
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