In its simplest definition, a tragic hero is the main protagonist in a tragedy who commits an error or a mistake that subsequently leads to his or her downfall. Although historically, there have been a lot of plays with tragic heroes, possibly the most notable among them is Oedipus the King. In the play Oedipus the King, the protagonist exemplifies traits that a tragic hero possesses as shown in his various actions throughout the plot. One of the traits that make Oedipus a tragic hero is his good nature, his social position, and his true to life consistency.
As shown in the play, Oedipus is someone of royal lineage and has helped a lot of people by solving the riddle of the Sphinx. This is further attested by the chorus in the play which said “People of Thebes, my countrymen, look on Oedipus. He solved the famous riddle with his brilliance, he rose to power, a man beyond all power. Who could behold his greatness without envy” (Johnston n. p. )? These traits are in accordance with the definition of a tragic hero.
However, it is his predetermined fate coupled with the error in his actions that prove why he is a true tragic hero. In the play, he unknowingly kills his biological father, Laius, and marries his biological mother, Jocasta, thereby fulfilling the prophecy of the Oracle at Delphi. Upon realizing the reality of his actions, he stabs his own eyes and forced himself into exile, which signifies his fall from grace and fortune. His erroneous action is mainly his excessive pride, which made him initially ignorant of the fact that he killed his own mother and father.
However, the true tragedy in Oedipus life is that his fate was seemingly predetermined for him as he did not know that the person he killed on the way to Thebes was his father, and the woman he married is his mother. In other words, he was not in control of his own fate which makes him truly a tragic hero. Works Cited Johnston, Ian. “Sophocles, Oedipus the King. ” 2009. Malaspina University College. 6 May 2009 <http://records. viu. ca/~johnstoi/sophocles/oedipustheking. htm>.
Oedipus the King, a Tragic Hero Essay
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Oedipus, a tragic hero
Sophocles's Oedipus Rex is probably the most famous tragedy ever written. Sophocles's tragedy represents a monumental theatrical and interpretative challenge. Oedipus Rex is the story of a King of Thebes upon whom a hereditary curse is placed and who therefore has to suffer the tragic consequences of fate (tragic flaws or hamartia). In the play, Oedipus is the tragic hero. Even though fate victimizes Oedipus, he is a tragic figure since his own heroic qualities, his loyalty to Thebes, and his fidelity to the truth ruin him.
In The Poetics, the greatest statement of classical dramatic theory, Aristotle cites Oedipus as the best example of Greek tragedy. According to Aristotle, Oedipus is a tragic hero because…show more content…
As outlined in the proposal, Oedipus is a tragic hero even though he didn't die because of the facts described by Aristotle satisfies the character of Oedipus. In this story the character's egotism and self-centrism has caused him a different fate, drawing attention of the audiences on the issues that the human behaviors directly affect the human emotions as Oedipus blinded his eyes by himself after finding out the truth. Here the hunger for the truth overshadowed by his grandiosity as explained by Miller has made Oedipus to find out what he hadn't expected. He was just willing to help somebody but as it was overcame from his confidence and proud, the story is able to manipulate the audience's feeling and make feel sorry for the character even though it is already known to the audiences that Oedipus was wrong, as seen from his confident and proud actions. While in Thelma and Louise, the feelings generated to the audience are different. Unlike Oedipus, in Thelma and Louise the human feelings were not played ironically but instead were diverted from characters actions from one wrong action to series of others. Oedipus ends in misery and sorrow of his past but Thelma and Louise ends up surrounded by the results of their wrong activities, which they tried to overcome by running away from it rather than facing it like Oedipus. At the end too, both tragedy shows the different perspective of life. One is with full of pride and