Oedipus - An Example Of Greek Tragedy

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Is Oedipus a good example of Greek Tragedy? According to the words of Aristotle, Oedipus is considered to be a good example of a Greek tragedy. This is because the structure consisted of a plot, character and song. A good tragedy must have a well-constructed plot. The plot in Oedipus included the aspect of reversal, for example, when Oedipus finds out the truth about whom his real parents were, it is expected that he would have a good reaction. Instead, an opposite reaction is created, because he then realizes that the prophecy of him killing his father, and marrying his mother has come to past (Oedipus, scene 4). The aspect of reversal is meant to produce the opposite effect within a scene (Aristotle 199). The plot in Oedipus portrays the story as a good tragedy, because it includes the aspect of recognition. An example from Oedipus occurs in scene four, when he comes to the realization that he had murdered his own father, and married then his mother. Recognition -- when combined with reversal of the situation -- is said to trigger the emotions of pity and fear (Aristotle 199) this combination is what makes a suitable plot for a legitimate tragedy. A good tragedy must also include character in order to express the purpose of an individual. A good character must be true to life (Aristotle 201). Oedipus is a character that displays trueness to life, for the fact that he is a good person, but he is not perfect. An example of this comes from the way he acts towards the people of Thebes. He had made a promise to find the murderer of the King, and cast him out in order to rid the City of Thebes from the plague. When he realizes that he was the one responsible, he follows through with his curse to have himself casted out from Thebes to die (Oedipus, scene 5). This example provides the proof that Oedipus was a good man, which is another aspect that makes his character.

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