Oedipus, a Tragic Hero?

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Oedipus, a Tragic Hero? Elizabeth Howell English 102- B33 Professor Katie Robinson Liberty University October 12, 2012 Oedipus, a Tragic Hero? Thesis: Using Aristotle’s five different descriptions of a tragic hero, we will show that Oedipus in Oedipus the King is in fact a tragic hero and how his decisions led to his downfall. Outline: I. Introduction and Thesis Statement II. Is the character of noble birth? A. King of Thebes B. Real father was king III. Though the tragic hero is pre-eminently great, he/she is not perfect. A. Freewill B. Fallibility IV. The hero’s downfall, therefore, is partially his/her own fault. A. Easily angered B. Unwilling to accept truth. V. The hero’s misfortune is not…show more content…
Oedipus decides that he does not want to look upon the misery that he has caused and gauges his own eyes out with pins from a dress. He then banishes himself from the city of Thebes. Oedipus takes the responsibility as king and does not want his children shunned upon. As a consequence, Oedipus will live the rest of his life in blindness, as a punishment far worse that what he deserved. When Oedipus had vision he was in the dark for not knowing the past. However, when Oedipus blinded himself, he was brought from the darkness into the light because he finally knows of his destiny. Besides being a tragic hero whose punishment was not wholly deserved, Oedipus is also a tragic hero because his fall is not pure loss; his fall involves an increase of selfknowledge. Throughout the play, Oedipus is lacking the knowledge of who his real parents are. Also, Oedipus is stuck with the prophecy that he will eventually kill his father and marry his mother. The combination of these two things leads to changes in Oedipus's actions which lead him to actions that lead to his downfall. Basically, what it comes down to is that Oedipus was blind, figuratively, his entire life. It must be tough to live an entire lifetime without having full self-awareness and self-knowledge. Although the

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