Oedipus: A Tragic Hero Essay

693 words - 3 pages

Oedipus: A Tragic Hero

Oedipus Rex, or Oedipus the King is Sophocles’s first play of “The Theban Cycle.” It tells the story of a king that tries to escape his fate, but by doing so he only brings about his downfall. Oedipus is a classic example of the Aristotelian definition of a tragic hero. Aristotle defines a tragic hero as a basically good and noble person who causes his own downfall due to a flaw in his character.

Oedipus is a man of noble blood; his parents, who raised him as a child, were King Polybus and Queen Merope of Corinth. Oedipus also becomes a king himself when he solves the Sphinx’s riddle, thus saving Thebes and taking over the throne of the late King Laius. Oedipus then marries Jocasta, Laius’s widow, and they have children together. Though he is a very fair and understanding husband, Oedipus’s main concern is always the city of Thebes. When a plague strikes the city, Oedipus refused sleep until he finds the cause, and he, “…sent Creon,…To Delphi, Apollo’s place of revelation, To learn there, if he can, What act or pledge of mine may save the city” (Sophocles 1257). Oedipus then vows to find who killed King Laius after Creon reveals that Laius’s death must be avenged so that the plague will be dispersed.

Oedipus, a great and noble king was flawed by his hubris, or spiritual pride. Oedipus believes that he could avoid what the oracle told him long ago: he would kill his father and then marry his mother. Instead of returning to his home of Corinth, Oedipus wandered the lands until he came upon Thebes. The city was in turmoil after the sudden death of King Laius, and the Sphinx was killing dozens of citizens each day, and would only stop if her riddle was solved. Oedipus was clever enough to solve the riddle, and then took on the throne of Thebes. When he began ruling Thebes, Oedipus thought that he had beaten his fate; he...

Find Another Essay On Oedipus: A Tragic Hero

Oedipus the King: A Greek Tragic Hero

1141 words - 5 pages Many Greek tragedies include a central character known as "the tragic hero." In the play, Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, the character Oedipus, portrays to the reader the necessary, central, tragic hero. According to Aristotle, "a tragic hero has a supreme pride" (Jones. Pg. 133). That pride is a reflection of arrogance and conceit that suggests superiority to man and equality with the gods. Students of religion are often taught that

Oedipus the King: A Tragic Hero

1009 words - 4 pages Tragedies have been written, told, and acted out for a number of years. Aristotle defined in his book, Poetics that a tragedy is to arouse the emotions of pity, fear, and finally a catharsis, or purging of emotions. A tragic play that perfectly completes this cycle of emotions is Oedipus the King by Sophocles. This play follows a king of the town of Thebes through his journey of the emotions of pity, fear, and finally a catharsis. It is a tale

Oedipus: The Tragic Hero

1380 words - 6 pages circumstances that were unknown to him. A man once seen as a kind-hearted and loyal protagonist quickly learns of his wife's suicide, gouges his eyes outs and realizes that he must now be banished from Thebes. Knox reveals that, "the catastrophe of Oedipus is that he discovers his own identity; and for this discovery he is first and last responsible" (6).The two last characteristics of any tragic hero according to Aristotle, is the discovery or recognition

Oedipus Tragic Hero

523 words - 2 pages Jaritza Molina 9/17/2014Prof. Dwamina English 205-004Is King Oedipus a tragic hero?The King Oedipus is the hero of 'Oedipus Rex', because he does great deeds and shows great power or strength. For example, he saves his people from an oppressive tax burden. He rules so well and wisely that Thebans respect him personally and professionally.But Oedipus also is tragic, because he undergoes a miserable reversal of fortune. That reversal results from

Oedipus as a Tragic Hero in Sophocles’ Oedipus the King

1473 words - 6 pages suffering” (DiYanni). The combination of the tragic hero’s character traits and the storyline he or she follows make the tragedy an actual tragedy rather than a depressing story with a sad ending. In Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, Oedipus embodies the traits that a tragic hero should have, including being greater than the average man and possessing an ultimately benevolent character, while also following the plot line that a tragic hero must by coming to

"Oedipus Rex", Aristotle's Tragic Hero

744 words - 3 pages Oedipus, by Aristotle's standards is a tragic hero. Oedipus fits the description of the necessities of a tragic hero, and the story follows the guidelines set for a tragedy. Oedpius is easily considered good, conveys an in-character and appropriate behavior, he is imperfect and life like, and his traits are consistent. Oedipus is a character of noble stature and has greatness, while still embodying virtue and nobility. This being said, Oepidus

Oedipus-tragic King And Hero

567 words - 2 pages one of the immortal gods, we know; …It was some god breathed in you to set us free." As a tragic hero, though, Oedipus yearns to know the truth about his past. As a child, he wanted to search for his identity after overhearing that Polybos did not father him. He said, "Yet the suspicion remained always aching in my mind; I knew there was talk; I could not rest." After hearing the oracle's prophecy, he fled Corinth thinking that he was

The Fall of A Tragic Hero: Oedipus The King

1521 words - 6 pages greatness; has a dramatic downfall secondary to his or her own hubris; recognizes his or her part in the downfall; and prompts fear and pity in the audience through his or her terrible fate (“Aristotle’s ideas About Tragedy”). Sophocles exemplifies Aristotle’s perfect tragic hero in Oedipus the King. The fate of Oedipus is to become a tragic hero. Soon after arriving to the city of Thebes, Oedipus a great thinker, solves the riddle of the Sphinx

Sophocles' Oedipus Rex: Oedipus, the Tragic Hero

762 words - 3 pages the only person responsible for the catastrophe in Thebes. Oedipus is described as a tragic hero because he is a king whose life falls apart when he finds out his life story. There are a number of characteristics in him that describe him and identify him as a tragic hero. For example, a tragic hero must cause his own downfall, his fate is not deserved, and his punishment exceeds the crime, he also must be of noble stature and have greatness

Antigone Tragic Hero Essay about "Antigone," by Sophocles. Discusses why Antigone is NOT a tragic hero and compares her to Oedipus, who IS a tragic hero.

899 words - 4 pages characteristic of the tragic hero is that in his fall, he makes a great discovery about himself. For Oedipus, this discovery was about his family, and coming to terms with his own past mistakes. Creon discovered that he had been too headstrong and that he should have been more flexible. On the other hand, Antigone died having the same level of self-awareness that she had when she first decided to bury Polyneices. We did not see a huge change in Antigone's

The Tragic Hero of Oedipus Rex

1835 words - 7 pages The Tragic Hero of Oedipus Rex According to the ancient Greeks and Aristotle the hero is a person who possesses superior qualities of mind and body, and who proves his superiority by doing great deeds of valor, strength, or intellect. In Sophocles' Oedipus Rex the main character Oedipus possesses these characteristics of a true hero, which in turn lead to his self-destruction. In the beginning of the play Oedipus's great intellect is

Similar Essays

Oedipus A Tragic Hero Essay

565 words - 2 pages by error of judgment. We must be able to identify ourselves with a tragic hero, which will evoke fear because he is not much better than us. Oedipus, by Sophocles was a tragedy itself, which contained a tragic hero, Oedipus.Oedipus was not completely good or bad. He was a man filled with arrogance and pride. Oedipus is a man who people want to be like, he has everything a man can want and comes from a high power. Oedipus was a powerful leader of

Oedipus, A Tragic Hero Essay

1021 words - 4 pages Oedipus a Tragic Hero What is a tragic hero? A Tragic hero is a man or character who has great influence, makes an error in his or her actions, and who must suffer the consequences of those actions. Oedipus’ tragic flaws starts with his excessive pride which leads to overconfidence as the people in the city lift him up and feed his ego: “You are not one of the immortal gods we know; Yet we have come to you to make our prayer. As to the man of

Oedipus The King: A Greek Tragic Hero

518 words - 2 pages and prosperous.” Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero is clearly shown by the main character in the Greek tragedy Oedipus the King by Sophocles. Oedipus, the protagonist in this Greek tragedy, is exemplary of Aristotle’s idea of a “tragic hero.” In Oedipus the King, Oedipus, the main character is a great man who saves the city of Thebes from the plague of the Sphinx by answering an extremely difficult riddle. Everything is going for him. He

Oedipus: The Reign Of A Tragic Hero

1667 words - 7 pages based off of early Greek mythology. These dramas were most likely written by one of the famous Greek authors, Aeschylus, Euripides, or Sophocles. According to The Ancient History Encyclopedia, tragedy plays were based on serious topics that taught a moral of right and wrong. An important part of every Greek tragedy was the incorporation of a tragic hero. In the famous play Oedipus the King, the writer, Sophocles, promotes added emphasis on this main