1King Oedipus: A Tragic Hero Abstract: Oedipus Rex is one of the most celebrated tragedies of the world which introduces us to a new version of the Greek family dramas that espouses ethics beyond human kind. In the ancient Greek world the tragic heroes were supposed to be of noble background and character. But in the case of Oedipus- the protagonist of Oedipus Rex, there are some obscurities regarding the characterization that leads the readers to a disputable resolution on Oedipus’ heroism as a tragic one. This paper completely focuses on the analysis of the character and on some points which aims at establishing Oedipus as a tragic hero. Key Words: Tragic Hero, Hamartia, Oedipus, Fate.
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.
Creon is hurt by this accusation and responds, "This accusation against me by our ruler Oedipus, it's outrageous." (Sophocles 514) Unfortunately, as the book closes, Creon looses his virtues as he becomes the new ruler of Thebes. As the story of Antigone starts, it begins with Oedipus' sons, Polynices and Eteocles. These brothers joined two different armies and ended up killing each in fratricide. Antigone, daughter of Oedipus tried to bury Polynices after the battle, but Creon has
Ah never, never! Nor this town with its high walls, Nor the holy images of the gods” (Sophocles 71). It seems that Oedipus meant to make an example of himself by gouging his own eyes out. He is, in a way, martyring himself via this extreme and painful punishment. The self-mutilation and subsequent blindness are supposed to be a punishment for killing his father, marrying his mother, and thus bringing a curse upon Thebes.
Even though Lear is not a man of intellectual brilliance he is a “great soul,” with the capacity for feeling deeply the sorrow of rejection and abandonment by his own. The character of Lear in “King Lear” was known as a tragic hero, because the play meets all the requirements of a tragedy based on Aristotle’s Poetics via A.C. Bradley’s, the Shakespearean tragic Hero. Aristotle suggests that a hero of a tragedy must evoke from the audience a sense of pity or fear, saying, the change of fortune presented must not be the spectacle of a virtuous man brought from prosperity to adversity. King Lear has many common qualities, which appear to be essential to the tragic effect. According to Aristotle’s criteria of a tragic hero, King Lear shows characteristics of a tragic hero by having pre-eminence, tragic flaw and gaining of interest.
King Oedipus sends his brother-in-law, Creon, to seek the advice of Apollo aware of the fact that a terrible curse has been put upon Thebes. Creon informs Oedipus that the curse will be lifted if the murderer of Laius, who was the king prior to Oedipus, is found and prosecuted. Laius is known to be murdered many years ago at a crossroads. Therefore, Oedipus assigns himself to discover and prosecute whoever it was that murdered Laius. Oedipus begins his quest by questioning a series of citizens.
The first character flaw responsible for the tragedy is king and queen of Thebes’ (Oedipus’ parents’) belief in an oracle about their son. The prophecy told by this oracle said that their son would grow up to kill his father and marry his mother. In order to try to prevent this from happening, Iocaste and Laios pierced the child’s feet, tied them together, and instructed their servant to leave the child in the wilderness to die, which is the second character flaw. In the text, the shepherd explains everything to Oedipus. “If you must be told, then…/They said it was Laios’ child/I was told to get rid of it/It was said that the boy would kill his own father”(56-62).
Oedipus Rex is the most famous tragedy ever written. The story represents a monumental theatrical and interpretative challenge. The play Oedipus the King is a tragedy of a man who cannot get away from his fate. He has too much pride to step out of the path of his oncoming fate. ‘Children, why do you sit here with such sorrow, crying out to the gods?
Creon shows hubris because he asks this to Teiresias because he is king and has excessive pride. He believes that because he is king and believes that he can’t be talked to a certain way. Creon is the tragic hero because he displays hubris in the play. Anagnorisis is when the tragic hero realizes his or her mistake. Capturing Antigone and not letting her burry Polynices was a mistake that Creon had made.
Ahmad Rathore 3/25/11 Creon: An Aristotelian Tragic Hero Aristotle, an ancient Literary Critic believed that in order for a character to be a tragic hero, the character must fulfill certain qualities. In Sophocles’ Tragedy Antigone, Creon who was once the cities most favored King, fell to ruin after causing the death of his own son. Not only did he kill his own son, his wife committed suicide because of such unbearable news. According to Aristotle Creon executes such criterion to the highest extent. Aristotle believed that a tragic hero must have been a man of greatness and nobility, while still being flawed in essence to his personality.