Tragic Hero Essay

584 WordsMar 4, 20123 Pages
According to Aristotle, “a tragic hero has to be a man who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty”. This is what many playwrights used to create their tragic hero. In my definition, a tragic hero is the protagonist who starts off in an elevated status and experiences a major tragedy, normally brought upon by his tragic flaw. We can see that Oedipus is a tragic hero because he has a tragic flaw or hamartia, is an intellectual and has high moral values, and started off in an elevated status and then had a downfall. Oedipus’ tragic flaw was that when he got angry, he did terrible things. This is evident in two specific situations. The first situation is when he killed his father, King Laius. The reason that he killed his father was because his father and servants attempted to push him off the road which caused him to become angry. Once he became angry, he did not spare anyone that got in his way. The second time that he demonstrated his tragic flaw was when he accused Creon and Teiresias of being complotters or plotting behind his back. Oedipus accuses them when he says “If my friend Creon, friend from the first and loyal, thus secretly attacks me, secretly desires to drive me out and secretly suborns this juggling, trick devising quack, this wily beggar who has only eyes for his own gain, but blindness in his skill.” (Sophocles, #442) He became so angry that he debated on either banishing them from Thebes or killing them. Luckily, he did not do either of these because in the end Creon becomes the king of Thebes and promises to protect Oedipus’ children. A protagonist can be shown as a character that has high moral values and is an intellectual. The protagonist in this case is Oedipus. Oedipus demonstrates that he is a great intellectual when he solves the riddle that the Sphinx

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