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Oedipus Rex: Tragicum Heros Essay

1156 words - 5 pages

Most people in the 21st century usually do not imagine a hero as one who goes around killing his father, marrying his mother, and fathering his siblings, but all those contradictory notions made sense to the Greeks watching Oedipus Rex. Oedipus, the titular character of Sophocles’ infamous play, belongs with the typical tragic hero category, a grouping of noble, courageous heroes who deserves respect regardless of a fatal weakness in their character. As for Oedipus himself, his extreme pride, known as hubris to the Greeks, is the singular weakness that foreshadows his fall from the graceful dignity of a king into the tragic shame of an exile. Despite his noble intentions for not just his ...view middle of the document...

In the same case, Oedipus’ noble affections for his daughters remain distinctively impressive even after he realizes how the true identities of his children are in reality his siblings. Even after he has been disgraced in the eyes of the city, he begs Creon to take pity on the people he now calls his daughters and sisters. However, despite all his deeds and actions seen so far within the play, the ultimate form of noble character undeniably comes through for Oedipus in his desire to follow through all the curses and shunning he originally intended for the harbinger of Thebe’s curse: Oedipus takes his own punishment of exile and disgrace in the noblest intentions of not just as a dishonored king, but also a shamed father to his people. Through his actions and intentions Oedipus displays within the play, a noble character is undeniably portrayed within him as a defining constituent to the character of the tragic hero.
Additionally, Oedipus also displays particularly courageous character that greatly strengthens his position as the portrayal of a tragic hero. Even before the play starts with the curse upon the city of Thebes, Oedipus has under his belt of a series of epic adventures that only the exceptionally brave could ever survive: his adventures range from defying the will of the gods by fleeing his adopted parents in an attempt to seize his own destiny to challenging the legendary Sphinx in a battle of riddles, all part of the types of adventures that demand courage of no small caliber. Correspondingly, Oedipus displays his courageous ardor with wild abandon to the consequences Teiresias, Jocasta, and the Shephard continually warns him if he keeps demanding for the truth behind the murder of King Laios and the mystery of the family prophecy; tragically, he courageously and proudly continues to fully drawn out the horrendous story behind his kingship before falling from his high estate. As with his noble character mentioned before, Oedipus bravely shoulders the consequences of discovering the truth by fully submitting to his former kingly promises of exile and shunning. Undoubtedly, Oedipus displays the courageous character needed to define the position of a tragic hero.
Lastly, Oedipus’ tragic flaw in his character, depicted as hubris, conclusively defines his character as a tragic hero. Oedipus’ hurt pride leads to murderous proportions when Laios attacked Oedipus for holding up...

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