Tragic Hero In Oedipus

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The archetypal term “tragic hero” was originally coined by the Greek philosopher Aristotle in Poetics as he began to theorize Greek Tragedy. In the grand debate of who the archetypal tragic hero is, Oedipus fulfills the position just as he fulfilled his inexorable fate with a tragic flaw that brought about his downfall. As Aristotle states, Oedipus eventually comes to recognize his flaw and its consequences, but only after it is too late to change or reverse the course of events.
Aristotle deems that a tragic hero is usually a man of noble birth in a position of authority who has great promise, ability, and integrity of character. Oedipus satisfies this characteristic by making a grand first impression as a wise and powerful leader when he solves the Riddle of the Sphinx. Oedipus gains so much respect from the people that they pray to him as if he were a god, “You are not one of the immortal gods, we know; Yet we have come to you to make our prayer” (1308, l. 35-36). The people of Thebes blindly took Oedipus in as their King; they were blinded by relief and high hopes that his wisdom could cure their cursed land. Aristotle further asserts that a tragic hero should also believe in his own freedom to make choices when faced with dilemmas. That being said, the cause for which the hero fights must be a noble one. Oedipus sets out to save Thebes from the plagued rust that brings famine, hunger, stillborns, death, etc. which acts as Oedipus’s noble cause. However, the reader

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