A king must possess select components of bravery, pride, and determination that coincide with one another in a manner to which others will perceive as commendable. Nevertheless, the very qualities that make a king rise above his citizens may be the exact characteristics that lead to his downfall. This concept could be correlated to the acclaimed work of Sophocles, Oedipus Rex, whereby the epitome of a tragic hero is created in the main character, Oedipus. Moreover, Sophocles has characterized Oedipus to be the embodiment of a respectable leader, possessing both extreme pride and relentless determination, which later proves to be the fatal flaw leading to his eventual, inescapable demise. This is due to how Sophocles codified this …show more content…
During the transition from the beginning to the end of his rule the hubris, or the excessive amount of pride in one’s character, expressed by Oedipus has transformed into what may be- ironically- identified as a god complex. The expression of admiration from Theban citizens towards Oedipus in recognition for being the king and hero of Thebes has inflated Oedipus’ self-worth to the point where it is not pride, but arrogance. “Here I am myself- you all known me, the world knows my fame: I am Oedipus.” (7-9, Oedipus Rex) While his ego escalates from the relentless devotion of his citizens Oedipus establishes a god complex of his own design, no longer caring about the gods nor fate, instead believing that destiny and the future are under his own control rather than being something predetermined.“You pray to the gods? Let me grant your prayers.” (245, Oedipus Rex) “You can’t hurt me or anyone else who sees the light- you can never touch me.” (427-8, Oedipus Rex) Oedipus even displays his authority when he refers to the chorus as his children, donning the role of a patriarch who assumes power over those he perceives as inferior or unworthy. In spite of this, the honorable life Oedipus built for himself in Thebes shifts into one that is unrecognizable, as the truth
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By definition tragic heroes can be considered one who is held up high by society for the good deeds they bring, but is then slowly or quickly taken away from that grace and placed in a world far below what they were originally. An example of this is the excerpt and the tragedy of Oedipus the king. The play shows that the faults humanity can fall through when put into a very stressful situation. Oedipus is a tragic hero because he wants to improve the lives of his citizens, he has a major human flaw of being impulsive and easily irritable, Oedipus takes more punishment than what the play told, his life and fate was not fully under his control, and he makes a vast realization with an equal amount of change.
Oedipus’ pride, drawn from his own heroic qualities, is one factor of his ruining. A hero characteristically prizes above all else his honor and the excellence of his life. When his honor
Considered one of the greatest dramas of all time, Sophocles’ play Oedipus the King follows the tragic life of Oedipus, king of Thebes. Considered a Satyr play, the Oedipus trilogy is perhaps the most famous of Sophocles’ plays. Oedipus the King, is an Athenian tragedy that was first performed somewhere around 429 BC in Athens, Greece. Originally, the Greeks referred to the play as simply “Oedipus,” as that was what Aristotle referred to it as in the Poetics. Perhaps what makes this play so memorable, is Sophocles’ uses of the tragic hero as the main theme. Sophocles uses characterization and conflict to portray Oedipus as an Aristotelian tragic hero.
Throughout the tragedy by Sophocles, the king Oedipus relies on his personal glory to attain long lasting fame and balks when confronted with anything that might shatter this perception that he is the best. While both characters have done marvelous deeds in the past, their inherent arrogance, which is part of the tragic flaw of each of the characters,
At the beginning Oedipus is characterized as a great leader. For example, he solves the riddle of the Sphinx, which is the winged female monster that terrorized the city (Sophocles 487). Here we can see how Oedipus is clever and smart. In result the people of Thebes respect him for his cleverness and reward him as King. People even look at him as being almighty when it comes to handling problems such as, when there is a plague that is killing people, animals and made women give birth to nothing. They knew he would help as long as he was aware of the situation. “We’ve come because you are the best man at handling trouble or confronting the gods” (Sophocles 487). This statement shows how people depend on him and look at him as a great leader. It also shows how he is a man of action and looks after his people as a king should. With that being said, he is told to find the killer of Laios and either banish them or kill them to stop the plague. Likewise, he did what he is commanded to do, he obeys the god and search for the killer that killed the previous king. Furthermore, he follows instruction and is concerned for himself and the people of Thebes. “My heart grieves for you, for myself, and for our city” (Sophocles 487).
Aristotle’s tragic hero is one of the most recognizable types of heroes among literature. A tragic hero combines five major points all of which have to do with the hero’s stature in society, his faults, how these faults effect him, the punishment his faults gets him, and how he reacts to this punishment. Aristotle explained that the story of Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles, is a perfect example of a tragic hero. In the play, Oedipus is given a prophecy in which he is told that he will kill his father then marry his mother. As in many Greek plays, Oedipus tries to run from his prophecy and ends up fulfilling exactly what it is foretold. Through the play we see that Oedipus posses many of the characteristics
Oedipus Rex is one of three plays created by tragedian Sophocles. The story opens with a plague, threatening the lives of many in the city of Thebes, Oedipus’ kingdom. Oedipus, the next heir to the throne, addresses this to the people, Creon, also states the suffering crops, As Oedipus says that he is sick too, this shows his hubris. Oedipus is one of Sophocles’ most notable characters due to the fact that he depicts the “tragic hero” archetype. Oedipus’ “hubris” or pride was the cause of his own undoing, that was part of his initial character.
Oedipus Rex, or Oedipus the King is Sophocles’s first play of “The Theban Cycle.” It tells the story of a king that tries to escape his fate, but by doing so he only brings about his downfall. Oedipus is a classic example of the Aristotelian definition of a tragic hero. Aristotle defines a tragic hero as a basically good and noble person who causes his own downfall due to a flaw in his character.
In the opening scene of the first play in the trilogy, Oedipus the King, Sophocles depicts Oedipus as a man of great stature, ruling his lands justly but hints at his own catastrophic fate condemned by his overly arrogant conduct. Initially, Oedipus exhibits intelligence, love and concern for his subjects, and deep-rooted wisdom, upholding a reputation of high moral standards. His wisdom, however, becomes self-righteous, his arrogance becoming very clear on the eighth line of his opening monologue, “Here I am – myself – you all know me, the world knows my fame: I am Oedipus. ” (159). The irony of this statement rests behind the notion that Oedipus’s fame will be known and surpass the ages, but it is
Killing his father, marrying his mother, blinding himself, abandoning his country; these are all actions the main character, Oedipus, commits in Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus, which adds to his tragic heroicness. He starts off with the potential to be great, but was doomed to eventually fall and by the end, he meets his moral victory. Although some may disagree with the fact that Oedipus is a tragic hero, there are a plethora of examples to prove that he is the tragic hero of both plays. In fact, almost every major action Oedipus takes throughout the two plays are actions that could qualify him as being a tragic hero.
The story and life of Oedipus is one of misfortune and misunderstanding. Oedipus is generally percieved as a tragic hero, but I think that theres more to him. I believe that Oedipus can be considered an epic hero on top of already being a tragic hero. There are a few reasons why I think this.
Sophocles's Oedipus Rex is probably the most famous tragedy ever written. Sophocles's tragedy represents a monumental theatrical and interpretative challenge. Oedipus Rex is the story of a King of Thebes upon whom a hereditary curse is placed and who therefore has to suffer the tragic consequences of fate (tragic flaws or hamartia). In the play, Oedipus is the tragic hero. Even though fate victimizes Oedipus, he is a tragic figure since his own heroic qualities, his loyalty to Thebes, and his fidelity to the truth ruin him.
Aristotle stated that “a man doesn’t become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall,” when describing a tragic hero. Throughout history, there have been many literary tragic heroes: Hamlet from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Romeo from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and even Jay Gatsby from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Often times, when discussing tragic heroes, the Theban tragedy of Oedipus Rex and his family is brought up. The tragic hero, Oedipus Rex was the heir to the throne of Thebes who was prophecized to kill his father and marry his mother. Due to this, he was abandoned at birth by his birth parents and adopted. Believing this prophecy would cause him to kill his adoptive parents, Oedipus flees his
Thesis: In Sophocles’ “Oedipus”, Oedipus is exemplified as a tragic hero according to Aristotle’s definition because his story appeals to the reader’s humanity in the way he maintains his strengths after inadvertently causing his own downfall.
Oedipus the King by Sophocles is a story about a boy who was left by his own parents in the mountains, by himself, to die because of a prophecy that were given to his parents by the Oracle of Delphi. A shepherd found this young child and decided to bring him to King Polybus and Queen Merope, who can’t have a child of their own. The couple decided to adopt the child and name him Oedipus, which means swollen ankles because of the way the shepherd found him with his ankles pierced with pins. When Oedipus grew up, he saved the town from a beast which made Oedipus be considered a hero of his town. Oedipus is considered an epic hero, but also a tragic hero. An epic hero is someone who is applauded for his bravery against the beast. A tragic hero is someone who does good for its town, but does not always do the right thing which leads to their own ruin. Oedipus is a tragic hero because he has a fatal prophecy that he could not bypass.