After reading the play Oedipus by Sophocles and noting that Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero is someone of high estate who has a fatal flaw and falls from their lofty position. (Kennedy and Gioia 856) I felt compelled to write about Oedipus because he seems to exemplify Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero. Oedipus is the perfect example of a tragic hero because he is a noble of high estate and has a fatal flaw of Arrogance and pride.
What comes out right away is that Oedipus is of noble decent. Oedipus is the son of King Laius and Queen Jocasta, after the prophecy was given the king and queen of Thebes exposed Oedipus in the hopes that he would die. By an interesting turn of events Oedipus was then adopted by King Polybus and Queen Merope of Corinth. (Kennedy and Gioia 859) More so, after saving his home town he is given the honor of marring the Queen of Thebes also known as his mother, but he is unaware of this at first, making him King of Thebes. I articulate all this so that there is no confusion that Oedipus is a man of high estate in the words of Aristotle. The primary reason the tragic hero has to be a noble is because he has more to lose or farther to fall so to speak, in addition, because he is the King he has all of Thebes looking up to him. A common man or man of non-noble decent cannot be a tragic hero because he is not revered as being very high up in stature to begin with. There is a far less impact on the people if the common man fails when compared to the King this is why the tragic hero has to be of noble blood.
Oedipus is kind and generous to his people, and because of this the people believe Oedipus can do something about this plague they are currently experiencing. Oedipus has a heavy heart because he really wants to help his people overcome the plague.
Oedipus is a wise king but he has a tragic flaw. Oedipus seems blinded by his arrogance, because periodically it is very blunt in the story that he is murderer that he is looking for, but he seems not to notice when facts point to him. Instead of...