Oedipus Tragic Hero

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Research Paper One of the greatest philosophers of Ancient Greece was Aristotle. He studied and explored many subjects. His analysis of the ideal form of tragic plays became a guideline for later playwrights in Western civilization. In his definition of tragedy, he stated, it is “the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in appropriate and pleasurable language;…in a dramatic rather than narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish a catharsis of these emotions.” In other words, a tragedy must be drastic and very serious; it should limit itself to one main issue to avoid confusion, and told with a rhythmic and harmonious language. The works must be dramatized and evoke feelings of pity and fear from the audience, for the main character or tragic hero as he or she moves toward a destructive end, eventually leading the audience to “explode” at the ultimate downfall of the hero. Based on Aristotle's interpretation of tragedy, one may conclude that the theme of tragic heroism is a recurring and essential theme in the development not only of Oedipus's character but also of the play for it is an element that makes the work of literature a tragedy. Set in the city of Thebes, Oedipus Rex begins with the cries and pains of citizens victimized by a plague. Baffled by the reluctance of the people to heal, Oedipus, who became the king after he solved the riddle of the Sphinx, sends his brother-in-law, Creon, at first a good natured, and rational being, to find the cure for the city’s current disaster. Creon informs Oedipus that in order to save Thebes, he must solve the murder of the previous king, Lauis, who was killed at crossroads years ago. Teiresias, the blind prophet, enters, and informs restless Oedipus about a prophecy that stated, “You are the accursed defiler of this land…I say

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