Oedipus Rex, a Tragic Hero

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Can it be said that arrogance is a sign of a good leader? In the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, the title character embodies qualities that foster his leadership but also bring about his demise. Oedipus Rex is a story of a king that must banish a plague from his city. During his efforts to accomplish this goal, he discovers his true identity, loses his innocence, and becomes forever blinded by the truth. Through the great tragedy Oedipus Rex, we can easily see how Sophocles personified the tragic hero. Oedipus is the model for Aristotle’s tragic hero because he possesses a tragic flaw, undergoes a reversal of fortune, and in the end, recognizes his mistakes. As part of Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero Oedipus possesses a tragic flaw. This hamartia (tragic flaw) is caused by a lapse of judgment in his past the led Oedipus to engage in a mistake that would forever change his life. After fleeing from Corinth, Oedipus encounters Laios on a crossroad. After being asked to move aside and refusing, Laios goes to strike Oedipus with a blunt object. However, Oedipus ends up killing Laios and all but one of his servants (thus killing his father and fulfilling part of the prophecy). This error of judgment involves Oedipus’ hubris which can be defined as a sort of arrogant pride or over-confidence. Put together, his mistake and sense of arrogance magnify his tragic flaw. Throughout the story, Oedipus is not only arrogant but also obnoxious, childish, self absorbed, and willfully blind to the truth. All of these characteristics lead to his ruin. They demonstrate that Oedipus is far from perfect. Exemplifying these qualities enable Oedipus to set himself up for a great fall. His character plus a single mistake from his past is his tragic flaw. This can be supported with a number of lines from the text. “My power is absolute in Thebes, my rule reaches
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