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Is Oedipus a tragic hero?

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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.

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