Oedipus acts as the catalyst for the mental, emotional, and physical suffering within Oedipus the King, causing the misery and anguish of other major and minor characters, through past and present actions. Oedipus is directly responsible for the vast torment that many of his subjects endure, along with Jocasta, Creon, and Oedipus himself, due to the antecedent blunders that he made in unknowingly murdering his father, marrying his mother, and producing monstrous offspring. He perpetuates his errors by seeking Laius’s murderer in response to the Delphi priestess’ prophecy which identifies Laius’s murderer as the reason for the city’s suffering. Sophocles represents this calamitous cycle through tragic and volatile scenes between Oedipus and other characters, such as Tiresius, Jocasta, and Creon. The heinous acts Oedipus committed are a consequence of a punishment by the Greek gods that brings devastating injury to those close to him and to the entire city of Thebes, along with the suffering he inflicts as a result of his futile quest for the murderer of Laius.
While Othello displays the role of noble caliber, he also possesses the second characteristic of a tragedy, which is having a tragic flaw. A. Iago manipulates Othello into believing that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio his Lieutenant. B. Othello becomes jealous and vengeful. IV. Lastly, Othello fits the final requirement where, “In Greek tragedy, the hero is a character amply capable of making choices – capable, too, of accepting the consequences” (Kennedy & Gioia, 2013, pg.
Possible thesis statement: The Greek word tyrannous reflects the ironic nature of both the events and characterization in the play Oedipus Rex. Possible points of argument: Irony of the notion that Oedipus “seized control via intelligence, yet was due to inherit the crown anyway Oedipus’s downfall was a direct result of being blinded to the blind oracle’s words Irony of Oedipus seeing the truth and becoming a great man only when he was blinded to the world and had fallen from greatness 2. Over the entrance to the temple at Delphi are inscribed these words: “Know Thyself”. Defend the statement that Oedipus is the classic example of the man whose central problem is that he does not know himself. Support your ideas with textual evidence.
This means he undergoes a moment of peripeteia which forces him into a sudden realisation, his moment of anagnorisis. I will be exploring if Richard II fits the Aristotelian mould of the tragic hero. Tragedy is also explained by J.A. Cuddon who supports Aristotle’s findings saying
Firstly, for the reader to understand why Oedipus in the Greek play, Oedipus Rex is a classical example of tragic hero, one must know the theory. The theory of Greek tragedy refers to the protagonist or hero whom suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental, mostly predetermined and very significant in that the misfortune is logically connected with the hero’s actions. This tragedy stresses the vulnerability of human beings
Aristotle’s play “Oedipus the King” centers on King Oedipus, a tragic hero according to Aristotle’s definition. When defining the tragic hero, Aristotle lists several conditions including: the hero is of noble stature, the hero’s punishment isn’t completely his/her fault, and the hero usually becomes wiser after his/her fall occurs. The story of Oedipus would certainly satisfy all of these conditions. The most important condition however, is that the hero, while not always fully responsible for the misfortunes that befall him/her, usually have a character flaw that is partly responsible for their downfall. Aristotle refers to this as “hamartia,” which is translated to “tragic flaw.” This begs the question: What is Oedipus’s tragic flaw?
On line 437, the chorus is speaking and they say that the god of war was the “money changer” of dead bodies. When the citizens of Greece sent their young men off to fight they got urns packed with ashes in return. The Greeks felt cheated by the cost of the Trojan War. In lines 442-444, it says, “dust” of loved ones is “heavy and bitter with tears shed, packing smooth the urns with ashes that were once men.” The people say (lines 447-448) “sons went down splendid in the slaughter and all for some strange woman.” The people “mutter in secrecy and the slow anger creeps below their grief at Atreus’ sons and their quarrels.” They blame Agamemnon and
He also stated that tragic situations must be ones with high levels of complexity, importance, and distinction. Arthur Miller, in his theoretical essay, “Tragedy and the Common Man”(1949), undermined everything that Aristotle said regarding the structure of tragedy. Miller took a modernist approach of Tragedy when composing his theories for his essay. The argument of Aristotle and Miller’s theories are summed up in the analysis of Henrik Ibsen’s revolutionary play, “Enemy of the People”. “Enemy of the People” made leaps and bounds in the world of modern literature.
The hero must have a reversal of fortune brought by the hero’s tragic flaw although the downfall will not be a complete loss. Near the end of the play the hero will gain some sort of self-knowledge or have a sense of realisation in which the audience will somewhat feel satisfied. In order to have a tragedy, as Aristotle said, feeling Catharsis (feeling sympathy and making a link with the character) is also very important as this helps us cleanse our emotions through the ending. An example to demonstrate what Aristotle’s definition of a ‘tragic hero’ is Othello. In the beginning of the Othello, we feel an immediate connection with him as we distinguish that he is an honourable man and also very noble.
Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles is one of the most famous tragedies ever written. The play centers on Oedipus the King of Thebes, who is cursed with an unfortunate prophecy. Though Oedipus is doomed by fate, his own qualities lead to his eventual ruin. Oedipus is in fact a tragic hero, because he embodies every aspect of the definition itself, the first part of the definition states the character/protagonist must be of noble birth and possess noble and moralistic character, the second portion of the definition explains the character is not perfect; he or she contains a harmartia or tragic flaw, and the third component of the definition states the character must recognize their role in their own demise and in turn experience great self realization. The character Oedipus accommodates the first aspect of the definition of a tragic hero.