Oedipus the King Essay

1087 Words5 Pages
Is Oedipus a Tragic Hero? In the play of “Oedipus the King”, Oedipus is in fact a tragic hero according to Aristotle’s definition. Aristotle defined a tragic hero according to these standards: A tragic hero has to be a king or a man of noble stature, a tragic hero must be an honorable man and his downfall occurs from an act injustice cause by ignorance, the downfall of a tragic hero is his own fault and nobody is to blame for, the hero’s downfall is not always earned but his punishment goes beyond from his or her crime, and after his or her downfall the hero learns a valuable lesson. They play is written like it was purposely wrote to meet the qualities of a tragic hero according to Aristotle by using Oedipus as an example. Oedipus meets all the qualities of a tragic hero by him being a man of noble and honorable stature, but his downfall is caused by his own fault but by an act of unfairness, his downfall is not earned by his acts, but at the end he learns a lesson. Oedipus meets Aristotle’s first characteristic of being a tragic hero of being a king and a noble man. The people of Thebes had much respect for Oedipus. The people from Thebes even looked up to Oedipus because he had saved them from the Sphinx. The priest even gave him the title of “Great Oedipus, O Powerful king of the Thebes.” (Sophocles 712.) The people of Thebes would even depend on Oedipus heavily upon. His great leadership and governance over the people of Thebes made him a powerful king that the people cared for and respected very much. Those qualities make Oedipus fall in the definition of Aristotle of a tragic hero. Oedipus as well meets the second characteristic of Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero and that is being an honorable man and his downfall was caused by pure injustice. Oedipus was never an evil ruler toward the people. He was always a king that cared about his people.

More about Oedipus the King Essay

Open Document