The Incarnation Of The Theory Of Tragedy In Oedipus Rex

993 words - 4 pages

Oedipus' character is labyrinthine in the sense that it raises controversies; many readers and critics might look at Oedipus as a hero who is doomed to his tragic end by misfortune and fate rather than by his tragic flaws. At first blush, this looks like a drawback that is enough to render the play inappropriate for an original model of the theory of tragedy. However, as a matter of fact Sophocles' plays contribute much to the formation of the ground on which the theory of tragedy is based. Actually Aristotle lays the foundations for the critical study of drama in his Poetics by drawing on Sophocles' plays most of the time, especially on Oedipus Rex. It is a fact clearly evident from this contextual standpoint that Oedipus Rex and consequently Oedipus, the hero of the play, serve as the most original incarnation--typical example--of the theory of tragedy. So the point now is whether or not Oedipus' has a multi-dimensional and controversial character does not alter the validity of the aforementioned fact, that Oedipus Rex is a model tragedy, simply because of three reasons: First, Oedipus still retains much of the characteristics of tragic heroes, like his noble origin and also position, goodness especially as a king, tragic flaws and irreversible mistakes. Second, the issue of fate, on which the controversiality of Oedipus is based, is to be taken from a special perspective where the age of mythology is taken into consideration. Third, if we are to admit that Oedipus' tragic end is doomed by fate, then this will functionally enrich the play as a tragedy rather than devaluate it.

Oedipus is endowed mostly all tragic characteristics that qualify him for a model tragic hero. He is the son of the queen Iokaste and King Laios, which affirms his noble origin. He also has super yet earthly qualities and deeds as we see him solve the riddle of the Sphinx intelligently and save the people of Thebes. Oedipus moreover and from the beginning of the play occupies a highly esteemed position as a king who is good to his loving people whom he kindly addresses, "Children, I would not have you speak through messengers." (lines 7-8) His personal qualities are eminent enough to make his fall very catastrophic when it occurs. When it comes to flaws, Oedipus is rich of them. He, for instance, unknowingly kills his father imprudently at a moment of rage without a having a good reason. He is also rash and non-meditative in his accusation of Tiresias and Kreon with the murder of king Laios. Oedipus also suddenly turns to a cruel king when the fact of his birth is almost revealed and thus we see him threaten the shepherd that took him when he was a baby by saying, "come, speak plainly or it will go hard with you." (1087) It is worth saying in this context that many of Oedipus' mistakes are...

Find Another Essay On The Incarnation of the Theory of Tragedy in Oedipus Rex

Oedipus Rex Sophocles "A World of Tragedy"

1168 words - 5 pages a master of this. With the usage of dramatic structure in his plays Sophocles insured his fame and popularity for thousands of centuries. One tragedy in particular, Oedipus Rex, is a prime example of this step-by-step process.The fist part of the dramatic structure of classical tragedy, also referred to as "Machine of the Gods", is In Media Res. This term refers to thetechnique where a story or narrative begins in the middle instead of where the

Oedipus rex (Socrates): The great tragedy

1429 words - 6 pages Oedipus Rex; The Great TragedyCommonly in society a person acts to avoid a certain situation, but less common is when that person involves themselves further into the situation. In Socrates' Oedipus Rex this is exactly what happens. Many call Oedipus Rex the greatest tragedy ever written. Socrates incorporates all of the requirements for a tragedy in his story, and does it in an artful and well-written way. In the story Oedipus tries to avoid a

Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex Fulfills All of the Requirements of a Tragedy

1138 words - 5 pages Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex Fulfills All of the Requirements of a Tragedy Throughout Poetics, Aristotle describes what traits a tragedy must have to be successful. To support these choices, he makes use of a small analysis of many tragedies, including many of Sophocles’ plays; Oedipus Rex is one of the plays mentioned in Aristotle’s Poetics. Some of these traits include a successful plot structure, recognition scenes, and a correct choice for

tragoed Oedipus the King (Oedipus Rex) and Greek Tragedy

1046 words - 4 pages change of result of hamartia. The tragic hero is a man who fails to achieve happiness in such a way that it brings upon fear and pity in the highest degree. Through the three unities, the noble characters, and the plot, Oedipus Rex is blatantly an excellent tragedy, as confirmed by Aristotle's Poetics.   Works Cited and Consulted:   Aristotle. "Poetics."  Dramatic Theory and Criticism.  Ed. Bernard F. Dukore.  Fort Worth: Harcourt

Comparison/Contrast "Oedipus-Rex" and the "Metamorphosis": A comparison between Kafka's and Sophocle's use of dramatic irony and tragedy

2006 words - 8 pages In dramatic irony, the audience is more aware of the character's situation than the character himself. It involves a naive hero whose understanding of his surroundings is opposed to what is truly happening to him or her. What makes this ironic is that the author is creating a deluded main character in order to make the audience more aware of his reality. In both Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis this method is used in order

Oedipus Rex: A Classic Tragedy

681 words - 3 pages In Poetics, Aristotle described the different elements of varied types of poetry, one being a tragedy. As Aristotle stated, the perfect tragedy must be complex, it must excite pity and fear, the main character must be very well-known and prosperous but yet they still have a flaw, and the change of fortune goes from good to bad. The famous play written by Sophocles, Oedipus Rex, fits Aristotle’s definition of the perfect tragedy. The play excites

Oedipus Rex as a Tragedy: How this play fit into the "tragic" criteria

1571 words - 6 pages responsible for his eventual downfall. In short, these characteristics aremain elements in the definition of a tragedy. The tragic hero's self destructive actions convey anaspect of the human condition. They also raise the question to what extent is the individualresponsible for his own demise, or is he mainly a plaything of the fates. Oedipus Rex embodiesthese characteristics to such a degree, that it has become the paradigm of tragedy.The

Oedipus Rex As A Great Tragedy

630 words - 3 pages Oedipus Rex as a Great Tragedy In approximately 330 B.C., Aristotle wrote the Poetics, which became a guideline for identifying the properties of a great tragedy. He believed that a good tragedy should be serious, complete, and have a degree of magnitude. He also held that a good tragedy should evoke feelings of pity and fear in the reader and have a sense of universality. The ancient tragedy Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles, is recognized as a great

Significance of the Women in Oedipus Rex

2769 words - 11 pages Significance of the Women in Oedipus Rex            Michael J. O’Brien in the Introduction to Twentieth Century Interpretations of Oedipus Rex, maintains that there is “a good deal of evidence to support this view” that the fifth century playwright was the “educator of his people” and a “teacher”. Sophocles in his tragedy, Oedipus Rex, teaches about “morally desirable attitudes and behavior,” (4) and uses three women to help convey these

The Role of Fate in Oedipus Rex

785 words - 4 pages Fate plays a very important role in Oedipus Rex as it is clearly inescapable and is not subject to change by free will, or even the will of the Gods. We learn of the prophecy given to Laius and Jocasta that their son will kill his father and marry his mother. Upon the birth of Oedipus, Laius and Jocasta send for a shepherd to come and take him away to be killed so that the prophecy cannot be fulfilled. Throughout the story we are continually

The Tragedy of Oedipus

1541 words - 6 pages The Tragedy of Oedipus When there is the mention of a hero in literature, the image of a tall, strong man on a pure colored horse, with a sword drawn and the shield held up, crying out to his men the honor and good they will bring in defense of their homeland, may come to mind. This, though, is not the image Sophocles gives to Oedipus, yet Oedipus is considered a true hero. Even if he is not depicted as a great war hero, or one who does some

Similar Essays

The Heart Of Tragedy Based On Oedipus Rex

751 words - 4 pages During the Ancient Greek period, Aristotle, a great philosopher, wrote a book called the Poetics to describe what makes a great tragic play. Using the Oedipus Rex by Sophocles as the basis for his book, Aristotle goes into great detail about plot, character, and much more, breaking up the components of a tragedy. Since Oedipus Rex had a huge part in the creation of Aristotle’s book, it fulfills many of the Greek philosopher’s requirements for a

The Evolution Of Tragedy In Oedipus Rex, Hamlet, And Desire Under The Elms

1510 words - 6 pages other genres the humor or the feelings of the characters can cover a bad plot. Tragedy can also be seen as a more significant piece of literature because it requires more seriousness, and a higher level of emotional involvement from the audience. Thirdly, the reoccurring theme of the Oedipal Complex is present in Oedipus Rex, Hamlet, and Desire Under the Elms. The Oedipal Complex is a theory by Freud that every male child has the desire

Tragoed Metamorphosis Of The Tragedy In Oedipus Rex, Hamlet, And Desire Under The Elms

806 words - 3 pages Metamorphosis of the Tragedy in Oedipus Rex, Hamlet, and Desire Under the Elms Tragedy is considered by many to be the greatest of the genres. Often something goes wrong and exposes something great. Characters generally have more depth as evidenced by Hamlet. Tragedy shows up in the great periods of history: Classical Greece, Renaissance, and the early 20th century. It is a far more complex genre than comedy or romance. It teaches

Oedipus Rex Sophocles A World Of Tragedy

1319 words - 5 pages . Being able to watch human suffering, paradoxically, gives the audience pleasure. Sophocles was a master of this. With the usage of dramatic structure in his plays Sophocles insured his fame and popularity for thousands of centuries. One tragedy in particular, Oedipus Rex, is a prime example of this step-by-step process. The fist part of the dramatic structure of classical tragedy, also referred to as "Machine of the Gods", is