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

Is Oedipus a tragic hero?

Extracts from this document...


15 January 2010 Oedipus a tragic hero? A tragic hero is the main character in a tragedy. A tragedy can be found to be a drama which was first found by ancient Greek play writers. A tragedy mostly ends with the tragic hero in a very bad position. This is often due to a fatal flaw in the character, or an error this tragic hero makes. Sophocles was one of these Greek play writers. One of the famous plays he wrote was Oedipus. An issue which does however occur is that some people do not find Oedipus to be a tragic hero. There are specific features which a tragic has according to Aristotle. ...read more.


Since this man was his father and previous king of themes it implies that Oedipus is currently sleeping with his mother. Oedipus finds out that this was his fate as the play continues. Oedipus his attitude changes; he gets very aggressive hurting people close to him. All of this shows that Oedipus is not this man of high stature which is necessary for a tragic hero. Another characteristic of the tragic hero is the peripeteia: a reversal of fortune brought about by the hero's tragic flaw the hamartia. This turning of fortune which can be found to be the hero's downfall is not wholly deserved, nor is it a complete loss. The play develops around the fact if a prophesy can be fought or not. ...read more.


One can therefore state that Oedipus lacks this characteristic. When one would read or watch Oedipus one would at first sight think that Oedipus is a tragic hero. This analysis however showed that he does not fit the profile set by Aristotle. It was shown that Oedipus actually isn't a man of high stature. It was also shown that Oedipus downfall was not caused by one of his own flaws, or error's, but an error of his parents. One can state that Oedipus isn't a tragic hero according to Aristotle since it does not comply with all characteristics of a tragic hero. One can however not deny that this play is a tragedy. One could state that Sophocles edited the basic character of a tragic hero, and made a tragic hero in his view. Oedipus, not a tragic hero according to Aristotle, but possibly a tragic hero according to Sophocles. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Macbeth as a Tragic Hero.

    Macbeth has to kill Banquo and Fleance because he does not have any children and he wants his sons to the next in line. This supernatural soliciting/ Cannot be ill, cannot be good.../ If ill, / Why hath it given me earnest of success/ Commencing in a truth?

  2. Issue of Fate Vs. Free Will In Oedipus the King

    Oedipus rejoices, saying "[Polybus]'s dead and in his grace and here am I who ne'er unsheathed a sword" thinking that the prophecy was fake because he had done nothing to kill his father, "unless the longing for his absent son killed him" of course.

  1. The significance of the fatal flaws of Meursault and Oedipus in The Outsider and ...

    Oedipus however ignores Tiresias? statement and continues to mock Tiresias, who finally puts it bluntly, ?You with your precious eyes, you?re blind to the corruption of your life?.[7] Meursault?s apathy is comparable to Oedipus? blindness. Meursault is emotionally blind due to his apathetic character whereas Oedipus is figuratively blind.

  2. What is the role of fate in the tragic plays "Oedipus" by Sophocles and ...

    The way her mother had inculcated bad instincts in her 0nly daughter and the way the father had brought her up. She was all alone and there was no one to restrict her temptations. She had had a recent break up with her fiancé.

  1. Reasons for Macbeths Tragic Downfall

    Macbeth demonstrates a lack of value and makes selfish decisions, making the audience pity him since he has lost his moral due to other characters? negative influence. Furthermore, Macbeth also shows a downfall in his personality after he is informed about his wife?s death.

  2. How far does Macbeth fit the dramatic model of a tragic hero ?

    those that we bury back our monuments shall be the maws of kites?. These images also contribute to this stressful atmosphere. So his ambition and the murders he commits seem to make him turn mad, which shows clearly that this is his downfall.

  1. Fate-al Flaw. Sophocless Oedipus Rex and Shakespeares Othello are characters commonly referred to ...

    Oedipus?s Fate was exactly like what the Hoffmans described in their literary criticism; they wrote, ?For the Greeks, fate was a tendency toward an end, like

  2. The Tragic Hero Oedipus

    The priests also immediately address him as ?my lord and king,? suggesting nobility which is completely related to being privileged as nobility is the highest you could be within the human social hierarchy in Ancient Greece. Through dialogue and the setting, the traits of being a tragic hero (being exalted and of high repute)

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