Tragic Hero Essay

1029 WordsMar 17, 20145 Pages
Tragic Hero In every tragedy, a character faces challenges or obstacles that hinder them throughout their journey. These challenges may lead to their ultimate downfall. This character is known as the tragic hero and these challenges are tragic flaws. One well known play that displays an excellent example of a tragedy is Oedipus Rex. The tragic hero in the play yearns to find the truth about his fate. Oedipus, the protagonist of Oedipus Rex, is an excellent example of a tragic hero. Oedipus arouses pity and fear in the audience which is a main characteristic of a tragic hero. In the play, the audience pities Oedipus when he finds out that his parents attempted to kill him by leaving him to die on Mt. Cithaeron with a bolt drilled in his ankles. This event moves the audience as they imagine the pains of a little child being left alone without the comfort of a parent. Oedipus was innocent and too young to understand what was happening. When Oedipus finds out that he just slept with his mother the audience pities him for his mistake. The audience was surprised when Oedipus realized that his mother was also his wife. Oedipus must have felt embarrassed and ashamed to what he has done and he will never forget this mistake. Fear is aroused in the audience when the oracle became true and the audience realizes that they might not know their fate and end up like Oedipus. “For the fates that rule the cosmos are powerful and mysterious, and we have no right to assume that they are friendly” (Doc. D), thus, like Oedipus, the audience will not know about their fate until they experience it. In Oedipus’s case, his fate was that he would kill his father and marry his mother; the audience fears that their fate may result horribly. Arousing pity and fear in the audience is just one of the main characteristics of a tragic hero and Oedipus happens to posses this as seen from his

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