• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Oedipus Rex as a tragic hero.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

OEDIPUS REX AS A TRAGIC HERO The Greek play, Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, is clearly a tragedy. Many things can be described as a catastrophe. However, according to the definition of a tragedy by Aristotle, there are five main criteria. First, the play has to have a tragic hero, preferably of noble stature. Second, the tragic hero must have a tragic flaw. Because of that flaw, the hero falls from grace, power, or death. Due to the fall, the tragic hero will discover something and have a moment of remorse. Finally, there must be catharsis in the minds of the audience. Oedipus clearly meets all of these five criteria, therefore, making him a classic tragic hero. To begin with, Oedipus the King is the ruler of Thebes. He was destined to sleep with his mother and kill his father. ...read more.

Middle

The main character has a tragic flaw. It is his quickness to take a position and his stubborn faithfulness in spite of his personal hazard. The king makes decision publicly for all to hear, making reconsideration difficult for a proud person such as himself. Oedipus publicly announces the consequences for the person who murdered Laius before having or knowing any evidence. If he had one clue that he could have been the unwitting cause, maybe he would have acted differently. The audience watch as Oedipus Rex and the rest of the characters discover his tragic flaw, where Oedipus killed his own father and married his mother. Oedipus Rex's nobility deceived him as well as his reflection, since it shows only his perfect, wonderful face and not his inner world, his pains, and his history. ...read more.

Conclusion

The king abdicates the thrown to Creon, and asks him to take care of his children. Almost all of Thebes knows about the murderer of Laius and the king had to keep his word and promises by leaving his own kingdom. The catharsis of the play comes at the same time as the remorse. The audience suddenly feels sorry for this poor man who has unknowingly killed his father and married his mother, for the people of this land who have been suffering from an awful curse because of it, and for the unfortunate Jocasta who was basically an innocent bystander in the whole confusing situation. In these five ways, the play Oedipus Rex classifies as a tragedy. Sophocles portrays the protagonist as a good-natured person who has bad judgment and is frail. Oedipus makes a few fatal decisions and is condemned to profound suffering because of his actions. In the end, he learns a lesson about life and how there is more to it than just a person's fate. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Aeneas can be considered an excellent hero. Discuss.

    5 star(s)

    He also takes their advice and obeys them unconditionally which a Roman audience would consider the qualities of a great leader, this is seen when Aeneas accepts instantly the orders of Mercury to leave Carthage and Queen Dido which highlights Aeneas' dedication to his duty even if it comes at the cost of his own personal emotions.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Who was the real tragic hero of the Agamemnon?

    3 star(s)

    This really is her flaw throughout her life because if she said yes then everyone would have believed her prophecies and Troy wouldn't have fallen. Cassandra really creates emotion and hope in the audience because she tells us that Orestes will come.

  1. Compare the [causes and reasons of] suffering the protagonists cause to their family and ...

    In Oedipus Rex, the suffering caused to his family and people is horrible. The fate of Oedipus is responsible for all the suffering. Even when Oedipus tries to avoid his fate he will fulfill his curse. He runs away from Corinth to avoid the fate but instead he carries it out.

  2. The Tragic Hero

    he resolves the major conflicts, bringing the plot to a logical and foreseeable conclusion. This explanation of catharsis helps to explain how an audience experiences satisfaction even from an unhappy ending. Human nature may cause us to hope that things work out for Antigone, but, because of the insurmountable obstacles

  1. In Milton's Paradise Lost, Satan, one of the main characters in the story, exhibits ...

    state I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere; Till pride and worse ambition threw me down" (Book IV, line 37-40) As he sees the sun, he remembers how high he was in heaven until his pride and ambition brought him down.

  2. Classical Civilisation AS coursework - the Mycenaean age

    One can deduce from the sites that the administration took place in the palaces, building a strongly centralised and bureaucratic palace-economy. The most tablets were found at Knossos in Crete, around 4000, though many were fragmented. Pylos has the next largest number, over 1200.

  1. How far should Oedipus as represented in the Oedipus Rex be regarded as an ...

    However, as the play progresses, these characteristics that make him a heroic character become the faults that aggravate his own fate. One of his negative virtues is his curiosity, which coupled with the positive virtue of him being a man of action; turns his curiosity to find out the truth

  2. Cinderella - play script

    Calliope: I'm going to start with a curtsy. Minerva : Then I'm going to start with a curtsy too. Calliope: Then I'm going to flutter my eyelashes. Minerva: Then I'm going to flutter my eyelashes, too! Stepmother: Let's... let's move on. Tell me what you're going to say to the prince.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work