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Sophocles' Oedipus Rex: Oedipus, The Tragic Hero

762 words - 3 pages

The play Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, tells a horrendous tale about one man's quest for the truth. In the play, King Oedipus was burdened with the task of finding his predecessor's murderer so that order may be restored to his kingdom. While his conscious mind was seeking the murderer, his unconscious mind was retarding his progress in order to conceal the truth. Tiresias prophesies the truth to Oedipus, but Oedipus's unconscious mind would not hear it. Thus, when the awful truth is finally revealed, Oedipus is overwhelmed by it. This causes the physical and emotional wounds that would last him a lifetime.
Oedipus is responsible for the catastrophe that ensures in Thebes in many different ways, to the extend where “in Thebes die unborn, the herds are sick and labor is vain” (Sophocles lines 29-30), but everything was mark in Oedipus’ destiny when the priests of Thebes have come to Oedipus to stop the plague that is killing the people of Thebes. Oedipus learns from his brother-in-law, Creon, who he had sent to Delphi, that Apollo has placed this plague upon Thebes. Oedipus swears an oath before the priests that the murderer would be found and driven from the land, but he does not realize that he has just condemned himself. Oedipus who was discarded by his great father at birth, due to a waning giving to Laios, King of Thebes, that Oedipus will kill him and marry the Queen of Thebes, Jocaste. Oedipus was sent with a shepherd to be disappeared, but instead the shepherd handed the baby boy to another shepherd, this shepherd took the baby to his master, Polybos, King of Corinth. Oedipus was then taken to Corinth and raised in the foreign land. Perhaps, many might think Oedipus as a noble person for trying to save his people from Thebes, and not necessary be 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...

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