This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Tragic Hero Essay

1751 words - 7 pages

The Tragic Hero"Oedipus the King", by Sophocles is a tragic play, which illustrates the Greek concept that one cannot escape fate. Oedipus was born with a horrible prophecy told to his parents King Laius and Queen Jocasta of Thebes, that he would kill his own father and marry his mother. By trying to avoid what the oracle had foretold of his life Oedipus at the same time fulfilled the prophecy. Fate is one of the many themes in the play, such an unlike idea may seem unimportant, but one can find many themes in the play. The theme of fate versus free will creates conflict in the play that helps the action to move forward and help to develop the characters. Oedipus tried to escape the oracles prophecy: however, fate controlled the lives of the characters in this play.To begin, Prophecy plays a big part in Oedipus the King, the play begins with Creon's return from the oracle at Delphi. Later we hear Oedipus tell Jocasta of a prophecy he heard as a child Jocasta then tells Oedipus of a similar prophecy which was giving to Laus. It is ironic how fate creates such conflict between characters in the play and how free will not only affects but also alters their lives. A Greek, Sophocles, wrote Oedipus the King. During this time, the Greeks believed that everything was done for the gods; they did not have free will over their lives."Fear?What should a man fear? It's all chance,chance rules our lives. Not a man on earthcan see a day ahead, groping through the dark.Better to live at random, best we can.And as for this marriage with your mother-have no fear. Many a man before you,his dreams, has shared his mother's bed.Take such things for shadows, nothing at all-Live, Oedipus,as if there's no tomorrow!" (935 lines 1068-1078)Again in this play, and the other Theban plays, return to the fact that prophecies do come true and that the words of the gods must be obeyed. As one critic agrees, "While dimly aware of an unfortunate fate, Oedipus chooses to defy what he thought fate had designed for him, and become a self-made man. In this, he has been amazingly successful… (Whitman 344). There are many examples in the play, in which the gods control and tell the people, what they should do or how they should live their lives. For instance, at the end of the play Oedipus asks Creon to banish him from Thebes:Drive me out of Thebes, in exile.Not I. Only the gods can give you that.Surely the gods hate me so much-You'll get your wish at once… (949-50 lines 1666-68).Creon and Oedipus discuss here how they have no control over their lives, decisions and all. The gods are the ones who make all of the choices. Oedipus, along with the rest of the Greeks, believed that he had no say in the way his life was going to turn out. He believed that it was destined for his life to end the way it did, with him being curse and banished from Thebes.Shophocles tells us that Oedipus is a victim of fate, but not a puppet because he freely sought his doom though warned not to...

Find Another Essay On Tragic Hero

Tragic Hero Essay

1875 words - 8 pages What defines a tragic hero? First, to have a tragic hero, one must have a tragedy. To have a tragedy there must be a shift in fortune resulting in a fall from a lofty position that evokes fear or pity in the reader. The hero in question is defined by inherent virtue, a character flaw, and a recognition of their character flaw. In Agamemnon, the only two characters with any weight or backstory are Agamemnon, the returning war hero, and

Oedipus A Tragic Hero Essay

565 words - 2 pages Ashley McHugh English 4 Pd.5 Hero Essay 10/22/01 According to Aristotle, a tragic hero is one who evokes our pity and terror if he is neither completely good nor completely evil, but is a mixture of both. A tragic hero is also one who suffers a change in fortune from happiness to misery, because of misfortune. The tragic hero receives our pity because his misfortune was greater than he deserved, he is deprived of something very valuable to him

Modern Tragic Hero

1322 words - 5 pages Death of a Salesman, considered as Author Millers most accomplished and successful plays, features the life of Willy Loman, a delusional salesman with a grandiose plan to live the American dream. As a result to the tragic events of Willy Loman’s life starting with his father’s abandonment, and ending with his suicide, Willy Loman never lives the life he has always dreamed. Although, arguably discredited as a tragic hero, Willy Loman attains the

Tragic hero (media)

606 words - 3 pages A Hero of Another Kind The tragic hero is usually not like an everyday person that is seen on the street. According to Aristotle's book, Poetics, four characteristics establish the essence of a tragic hero. This is very helpful in understanding why the tragic hero is a mediocre type of person. First of all the hero must belong to a distinguished family. Secondly he must be a-better-than average person. Next the hero must suffer from a flaw in

Creon:A Tragic Hero

1124 words - 5 pages In the play, Antigone by Sophocles, at first glance readers assume that Antigone is the tragic hero. However, this is not the case. Although Antigone does display some characteristics of a tragic hero, I believe that Creon is the true tragic hero. For many readers, it may be a challenge to see Creon as the tragic hero; however, when you take a second look at the play, you can see that Creon displays every quality of a tragic hero. Creon’s power

Antigone the Tragic Hero

978 words - 4 pages A Tragic Hero A tragic hero is a character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw, which combined with fate, results into a tragedy. The tragic hero must fall from good luck and well being to misery and misfortune. The tragic hero causes a sense of pity through the tragic downfall that weakens the character. In Antigone by Sophocles, Antigone follows her own beliefs by giving her brother a proper burial, even if she has to

Creon: A tragic hero

742 words - 3 pages The qualifications of a tragic hero vary between Aristotle and Shakespeare. Aristotle thinks of a tragic hero as someone who is a noble character by choice and makes his/her own destiny, while Shakespeare sees a tragic hero as someone who is born of nobility and born to be important. Although both tragic hero's end in a tragic death that effects many people, not all tragic hero's fit perfectly into both categories. In Sophocles’ Antigone

Antigone, the Tragic Hero

739 words - 3 pages Antigone, the Tragic Hero Antigone, a play written by Sophocles, outlines the tragic hero Antigone and how human error can bring one to a tragic end. Both the sister and daughter of King Oedipus, Antigone was one of the main characters in the play. King Creon, the ruler of Thebes, and Antigone are set on a collision course by their own actions as the play progresses. Antigone fully exemplifies Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero by meeting

The Tragic Hero Macbeth

1163 words - 5 pages It has always been a controversial debate that Macbeth has been a dead butcher not a tragic hero, since some literature experts have not recognized him as a hero but just a murderer. Based on thorough research, many critics have suggested that Macbeth, from the tragedy of Macbeth, has evidently been a tragic hero. The protagonist, Macbeth, possessed the flawed qualities of a tragic hero, by the fact that he was ambitious, immoral, and

Creon the Tragic Hero

1185 words - 5 pages In the play Antigone by Sophocles,one could easily be lead to believe Antigone is the the tragic hero when in fact a strong case can be made that Creon, the king of Thebes, is actually the tragic hero. In believing that Creon is the tragic hero it would seem practical to call the play Creon rather than Antigone. On the other hand, naming the play Antigone gives the play a twist that leads the audience into a dynamically tragic journey through

Achilles: The Tragic Hero

1178 words - 5 pages Iliad Achilles is not only a hero, but a tragic hero who experiences a downfall and realizes that it is a direct result of his actions. Along with this basic definition of what it means to be a tragic hero, there are also three notable characteristics. Tragic heroes exhibit “fatal ignorance”, are “prompted by will or circumstance”, and are involved in a “binding obligation” (Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature, 1126). These three aspects

Similar Essays

Tragic Hero Essay

315 words - 2 pages Tragic Hero Tragedy seems to be everywhere, no matter what time or place it is. In fact, tragedy is what makes up the world we live in today. It keeps good balance in the world, because without tragedy the whole world would not know what crying, fear, or sadness really is. A tragic hero is a "man in super armor saving everyone," but rather the character that gets changed the most in real life or a make-believe play. The tragic hero

Tragic Hero Essay

769 words - 3 pages Essay KingAmerican LitanyMrs. Director4/19/05Tragic HeroAuthors have used tragic heroes through literature to spread their ideas of society. In the novel "The Great Gatsby" by Scott Fitzgerald a man with a dream puts the tragedy in tragic hero. Jay Gatsby possesses the three main characteristics of a tragic hero. Gatsby is noble, has a noble cause, and faces obstacles to reach his dream to ultimately be defeated. These qualities help Gatsby

Tragic Hero Essay 508 Words

508 words - 2 pages Okonkwo as a Tragic Hero According to Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero, the character must be characterized by good and evil, be a man of high birth or stature, the tragic hero must have a hubris surrounding him, must almost always go on a journey, must suffer and have a tragic flaw. It is for this reason that I agree that Okonkwo is a tragic hero.Okonkwo is a man of honour, courage and success. He is highly regarded by his clansmen and

Tragic Hero Essay 1474 Words

1474 words - 6 pages else's ideas, as he is blinded to the truth that his laws are not above God's laws; he fails to realize that even though he is the king, he is inferior to God and he feels his laws are superior to the moral laws. At first his personality is shown to be caring and but as the play goes on he becomes increasing stubborn, eventually showing hubris, something that cannot be moral, therefore he is more of the anti-hero. Antigone is shown to be a tragic