Essay on Oedipus the King: A Classic Tragedy

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Oedipus the King, a Classic Tragedy Aristotle, in his work The Poetics, tries to delineate the idea of a tragedy. Throughout his work Aristotle says that the hero, or at least the protagonist in a tragedy must be substantially good, almost godlike. This hero must bring upon themselves their downfall, due to their fatal flaw. If the hero is not at a high point, an audience will not care about them, and won’t notice their fall. One must fall a long way in social class in order for it to be noticed by the outside man. Oedipus perfectly exemplifies a tragedy, in relation to modern society, effectively showing how too much pride can often lead to downfall or doom. Oedipus is a magnificent man. He is also the perfect example of a tragic…show more content…
A catharsis is often a cleansing or healing of the mind and a teaching about the human condition. As the audience watches the events unfold throughout the play they feel a sense of fear or pity. All of these feelings are purified/cleansed when the protagonist falls into suffering. As a broken man, one who now only seeks to make right from what his pride blinded him from seeing, Oedipus asks for forgiveness. The people of Thebes need to see the suffering and what has become of Oedipus. After self-inflicting blindness upon himself Oedipus says, “Apollo who contrived my ruin, who worked my fall. But no-one blinded my eyes But myself, in my own grief” (Sophocles ll.1289-1292). It may have been originally Apollo’s curse that led Oedipus to this tragic end, but it was his stubborn pride that carried the curse to completion. The reader and Oedipus both experience a realization and cleansing when Oedipus confronts his subjects knowing that his pride and stubbornness are what have caused his suffering. Oedipus' own pride has become second to the hopes that his children and those around him have a bright future. His only wish is that his children lead successful lives even though they are the product of an incestual relationship. The fatal flaw is another necessary step for a tragedy to succeed. The protagonist has to move down from their high position because of a mistake that they make. In Aristotle’s The
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