In the play Oedipus the King, Oedipus struggles to accept the truth and lets his temper over power him. He can be displayed as a tragic hero. His refusal to accept the truth led to Oedipus’ down fall. A tragic hero, as defined by Aristotle, “is a literary character who
Oedipus’ hamartia is his determination. The term hamartia is the greek for a tragic flaw or error of judgment. An example of Oedipus’ determination is when he goes to find Laius’ murderer. Oedipus wanted to find Laius’ killer so he could save the city from Apollo’s revenge. Apollo put the city, Thebes under a plague as a punishment for Laius’ death. Apollo wanted the murderers of Laius to be either banished or killed. The journey to find the murderer lead to his downfall. If Oedipus wasn’t determined to find Laius he would never learned about his dark past.
Captivating heroes like Batman and Robin have become inspirational figures of modern day society that people love, but do they really dive into how tragic their lives really are? What happened to the truly emotional stories of tragedy rather than 15 minutes of non-important backstory? These heroes had done great things in their life, but fell gracefully from power due to selfish inhibitions and get remembered for how their mess up affected everyone else in the vicinity. Why can’t stories be as tragic as Sophocles’ Oedipus the King? He was a true tragic hero that saved his city and fell due to several flawed character traits. His drop from power came about because of his sense of hubris and ignorance to the presence of facts around him. People’s lives in the media should invoke more tragedy and suffering, making the character more relatable due to his flaws. While this doesn’t happen often, there are a few characters, like Duncan Dewey, that possess traits that make them tragic heroes.
Aristotle characterizes a tragic hero as an individual of noble characters whose downfall or destruction is for a greater cause. According to Aristotle “tragedy is an imitation of an action of high importance… acted by means of pity and fear effecting its purgation” (Sophocles, 856). They do not have vicious habits, but they persist in following the decision they made whatever the cost. Aristotle also describes a tragic hero as a person who was born noble and has some mistakes that lead to his downfall. This is a situation that Aristotle refers to as Hamartia. This directly defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary to mean “tragic flaw.” Aristotle also suggests that a true tragic hero also experiences peripeteia. This is a situation where a sudden or unexpected reversal of circumstances or situation happens as a result as the hero’s flaws. (Webster) The tragic hero also engages in activities that increase self-awareness and knowledge. Overall the audience tends to pity and sometimes they also fear for the hero.
Oedipus, the main character of Sophocles’ play, Oedipus Rex, has a tragic flaw that leads to his downfall. A tragic flaw is defined as “an otherwise good trait that turns destructive when taken to an extreme” (Stary). In a tragedy one can see the suffering of the main character, which is evident in Oedipus’ case. Oedipus’ tragic flaw is his determination, when he intensely seeks to find Laios’ murderer, forces the unwilling blind prophet Teiresias to reveal the truth, and when he stopped at nothing to prevent the prophecy from becoming true.
In the story of Oedipus, Oedipus is considered a “Tragic Hero” because of the tragic fate and effect that he had upon his life. My definition of a tragedy is a great loss that has a unhappy ending to which concluded me to state that Oedipus falls under that category. Throughout the book, Oedipus is leading himself to his own destruction when trying to find the killer of the late King Laios. So when a journal article I found published by The John Hopkins University Press stated that a “tragic hero is a man who fails to attain happiness, and fails in such a way that his career excites, not blame, but fear and pity in the highest degree” ( Barstow, Marjorie.) there was no doubt in my mind that the story Oedipus fell under the category. In my
The purpose of a tragedy is to bring catharsis within the audience and purge the audience with pity and fear for the tragic hero. Key characteristics that comprise a tragic hero in relation to Aristotle’s idea of one include a destiny filled with great potential but ending in inevitable failure, a fatal flaw called hamartia, and an honorable death. These types of heroes are not completely bad nor are completely good; however, they are the ones responsible for their own fate. This is due to their disregard for divine warnings and lack of adherence to the laws of the land. In Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus, Sophocles displays how Oedipus is an example of a tragic hero, as defined by Aristotle, by exposing his internal attributes that contributed to his inevitable fate, leading to his tragic ending, through the use of various literary devices.
One of the defining qualities of Greek tragedies is hamartia, or the protagonist’s tragic flaw. This flaw or weakness drives the plot forward, and can led to the demise of even the noblest of heroes. In “Oedipus the King” written by Sophocles, the protagonist, Oedipus was plagued with excessive pride and a short temper. Oedipus’ arrogance prevented him from seeing the truth, and ultimately led to the fulfillment of the prophecy he sought to prevent.
King Oedipus, was a flawed leader with many issues due to his past which plagued his city and his life. To save his people and free himself, he needed to go back to the very beginning to learn the cause of this curse to correct the future. On this journey, new information was revealed to Oedipus about his life which he would try to repress each time he learned something new until he couldn’t hide it any longer by blinding himself; therefore, consumed by his knowledge. Hence, he confronted his destiny which predicted that he would kill his father Laius and marry his mother Jocasta (Sophocles, p. 34). A tragic hero would describe his upbringing. With unfortunate circumstances birthing his future, he fought the gruesome fight to the ignorant
Before the play begins, Oedipus had left Corinth and eventually happened to stumble upon the city of Thebes. As stated before, Oedipus left his hometown because an oracle had told him that he is destined to to sleep with his mom and kill his dad. Nevertheless, in leaving Corinth and coming to Thebes, unconsciously causing the prophecy into coming true when he murders Laius at the triple crossroads and marries Jocasta which are his birth parents. Without a doubt, Oedipus of course did not want any of this to occur but some things are inevitable. To further more in ways Oedipus's actions lead to his downfall is when Oedipus endeavors to discover why the plague is taking place in Thebes. So when Oedipus sends Creon on a quest to Delphi and also request Tiresias to come to the palace to only unearth the disheartening truth of that he is the source of the plague. Fatally Oedipus just wanted to investigate the root of the plague and save the people of Thebes yet, everything goes spiraling south that results the death of his mom and his exile. Disregarding all the events that transpired Oedipus refused to give up and calls forth the sole survivor of the massacre at the triple crossroads to come converse with him. The sole survivor indicates that one person annihilated Laius's party at the triple crossroads not a group of individuals as Oedipus had been
Thesis Statement: Sophocles’ Oedipus is a perfect example of Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero through the main characters prosperity to an emotional downfall caused by a tragic flaw. I. Oedipus is a Tragic Hero a. Definition of a tragic hero as defined by Aristotle i. Aristotelian tragic hero is defined (Aristotle 1961, p. 1453a). b. Oedipus
The Unfortunate Fate of a Tragic Flaw An individual’s strengths can eventually become their greatest weaknesses. A tragic flaw is a trait viewed as being favorable to a character at first, but it leads to their later downfall. It was often used in ancient Greek tragedies to show that mankind was susceptible to flaw. This was present in Sophocles 's tragedy, Oedipus the King. The protagonist of the tragedy,Oedipus, was not exempt from his own flaws. Oedipus’s traits of excessive pride and desire for knowing the truth were advantageous to him in the beginning, yet were the very things that contributed to his tragic downfall.
In Oedipus the King, Creon strides into the scene and announces that “King Phoebus in plain words commanded us to drive out pollution from our land...by banishing a man or expiation, of blood by blood since it is murder guilt which holds our city in this destroying storm” (Sophocles 2). It is then that Oedipus discovers the tale of King Laius, whose life was abruptly taken away consequently making Oedipus conclude that Laius’ killer is the man that should banish from the metropolis for them to complete the command. At this stage, Oedipus has his mentality focused on finding the truth behind this murder; he feels the need to get revenge to help the city get out of the trouble coming from the guilt murder. Later on in the scene, he has an altercation with Teresa, who tells Oedipus that it is the latter who killed Laius;
In a utopian society that lacked the literary genre of tragedies, the genre of comedy in literature would likewise fail to exist. Without a periodic reminder of the horrible events which exist in a non-perfect world, comedy would have no origin from which to lift its audience. It is this origin point that tragedy finds its home, a central point from which its reader can compare themselves to and better themselves from as they compare their own lives to the life of the tragedy’s hero. It is this hero who must connect with the reader (or view in case of this play), yet simultaneously create themselves as a stepping stone for the reader to enlighten their mood in future comedic interactions. As the tragic hero leads the reader through the play, it is his/her interactions with the work’s non-heroic characters that cause their ultimate suffering, giving the tragedy its rightful name. In Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, the tragic hero Oedipus causes the suffering of civilians in the city of Thebes and his own wife/mother in her eventual suicide. The calamity of his mother was foretold to Oedipus as his inescapable fate, and through his attempt to escape this destiny he only manages to bring suffering upon himself, his mother, and the city of Thebes.
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.