Essay on The Heart of Tragedy Based on Oedipus Rex

600 Words3 Pages
During the Ancient Greek period, Aristotle, a great philosopher, wrote a book called the Poetics to describe what makes a great tragic play. Using the Oedipus Rex by Sophocles as the basis for his book, Aristotle goes into great detail about plot, character, and much more, breaking up the components of a tragedy. Since Oedipus Rex had a huge part in the creation of Aristotle’s book, it fulfills many of the Greek philosopher’s requirements for a tragic play.
According to Aristotle, plot is one of the most important components of a tragedy. It must have a clear beginning, middle, and a cascade of events leading to the ending. The incentive moment in Oedipus Rex is when Creon comes back from visiting the oracle at Delphi with news on how to
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At the end of the novel he is left a blind man with only his daughter.
Spectacle is the act of avoiding violence and having ferocious events take place offstage to stop the evocation of the emotions pity and fear. These feelings are evoked in Oedipus Rex because if bad things happened to a good man, then they can happen to anyone. However, pity and fear are kept at bay when the messenger relays Jocasta’s suicide and Oedipus’s act of self-harm because they didn’t witness the events that took place offstage.
‘Dues ex Machina’ is the idea that an unexpected power, such as the gods, will come and fix the situation. Aristotle dismisses this idea, believing that it is better to have a realistic and practical plot or else it will take away the story. Two good places to have divine intervention in Oedipus Rex would have been either before Oedipus left his adoptive parents or before he had unknowingly killed his father. A god or a higher being could have informed him of his origins and the curse, and he could have prevented the murder of his father and marriage to his mother. Instead, without the use of ‘dues ex machina,’ Oedipus fulfilled the prophecy which resulted in his downfall.
Oedipus Rex by Sophocles embodies all of what Aristotle described to be a proper tragedy in his book Poetics. The plot is a clear and concise beginning, middle, and end that starts with a cause that results in many effects, one of which

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