“Oedipus the King” demonstrates all the characteristics and qualities so it’s best to say that he is the perfect example of a Tragic Hero. The sequence of events in the play all resemble a tragedy and Oedipus is directly in the middle of it, confronting every obstacle and shows all the qualities of a hero as he searches for the truth behind the murder of King Laius. The story and the main protagonist, Oedipus features all the dramatizations and within himself a tragic flaw that ultimately led to his downfall. Oedipus’ actions set up his demise but it was fate that destroyed him.
Oedipus’ hamartia was well documented when he showed how determined he was to catch King Laius’ murderer even when he suspected it to be himself.(Grene, pg. 13) Only a hero would risk prosecuting himself in search for the truth. He was ultimately trying to clear his conscious, or to prove to himself that he in fact wasn’t the murderer even though all the clues said that he was. This reasoning could also be said to be his tragic flaw. His determination to find the murderer and clear his conscious is what led to his demise. After deciphering the Sphinx’s riddle he became arrogant, as if he was untouchable so it’s understandable that he would take such risks unnecessarily.
The catharsis in the play was when Oedipus finally had proof that he was King Laius’ murderer. He had finally come to terms with this, it was suspected throughout the play but there were so many unknown variables that the reader needed for it to be said in black and white. Oedipus murdered King Laius and unknowingly lived up to the prophecy he was born into. Even when the prophecy was told to him there wasn’t much he could do to change it, if anything at all. The Gods of greek mythology had a plan for him and there was no way to avoid it other than leaving the city, plague infested. Oedipus is a hero and a ruler, he wouldn’t let that happen and the Gods knew this. The prophecy became true because of the man he grew up to be and everyone knows how strong the God’s will is so he was ordered to be killed at birth. That order alone shows how strong fate is in this play.
His hubris after deciphering the Sphinx’s riddle started in the beginning of the play and didn’t disappear until after he gouged out his own eyes and is begging to be exiled for his misdeeds. (Grene, pgs. 21-24) It took realizing that he unknowingly killed his own father to humble this man. Oedipus’ pride was blinding him and made him ignore the prophet, who is a messenger of the Gods. He felt as if the prophet was disrespecting him by insinuating that Oedipus was the murderer of his father when in fact he was just telling Oedipus what the Gods showed him.(Grene, pg.7) He should have asked more questions like who his father was exactly, which would have cleared things up even sooner. If someone tells you that your father died of natural causes and someone else tells you that you would kill your father in the near future then...