Oedipus: Tragic Hero Or Victim Of Destiny

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Oedipus: Tragic Hero or Victim of Destiny? In “Oedipus Rex”, by Greek tragedian Sophocles, the protagonist Oedipus allows for a particularly ambiguous interpretation of his role in the play. The first, most evident analysis of the character is to assume that the Theban king was a tragic hero, supported by the many good deeds and contributions that he gave to the city of Thebes, as well as the unconditional respect that his people and subordinates have for him due to his powerful and determined ruling. Added to this would be the argument that he was strong-minded in his search for the truth, and as Aristotle defined, his downfall was caused by his fatally flawed character and pride, or hubris. One may conclude that Oedipus was willing to suffer the consequences of his acts, which eventually led to his collapse, but throughout his life as the King of Thebes was an incredibly successful ruler, maintained his morals and died for what he believed in. Nevertheless, this apparently indisputable argument may be highly questionable. Oedipus could, perhaps, be considered a victim of fate and, instead of bringing his disgrace upon himself; he could have just been naively carrying out the prophecies, therefore no longer fitting in Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero. Furthermore, some may argue that Oedipus was not such a great leader, making impulsive and reckless decisions due to his pride and explosive temperament. A Freudian outlook of Sophocles’ tragedy argues that the Theban king might have, in fact, been an anti-hero. Had Oedipus taken a heroic path instead of being driven by his pride and anger, he could have avoided the series of disasters that followed his collapse. Had Oedipus married a Theban wife and “set about the business of becoming a man”, with time his father would eventually die and he could stroll through

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