Oedipus as a Tragic Hero Analytical Essay by cduexe

Oedipus as a Tragic Hero
An analysis of how Sophocles' Oedipus exemplifies Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero.
# 153799 | 2,234 words | 7 sources | APA | 2014 | KE
Published on Jan 23, 2014 in Literature (Greek and Roman) , Literature (Mythology) , English (Analysis)

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The paper explains Aristotle's three-fold definition of a tragic hero. The paper then discusses Oedipus Rex's noble and virtuous traits, his error in judgment, and his tragic reversal of fortune, and shows how they make him a perfect example of a tragic hero according to Aristotle. The paper includes an outline.


From the Paper:

"The Sophocles play is a Greek tragic story of a character known as Oedipus who marries his own mother after killing his father; acts that were considered immoral at the time and still are. Unfortunately, Oedipus was not aware of the relationship of the man he killed and the woman he had married. These actions result in suffering and anguish for him and his family, as well as the whole nation. Oedipus Rex is a man of high standing in his society, he is the King of Thebes, and intellectually astute person who is the greatest and solving riddle in his society, meaning most people sought his intellectual interpretation of riddles(Dawe, 2006); furthermore, he is also morally upright - he is very determined, all through the paly, to find the murderer that the Oracle defined so that he can bring to an end the suffering of the people of Thebes. Despite doing this with the best of intentions and thought, the society still viewed Oedipus as a "hamartia", a man who has committed a mistake-has a personal tragic imperfection(Morrissey, 2003). The questions that this paper therefore, asks is, whether it is Oedipus mistake to be too passionate in the search of the truth, thereby bringing to light, what, according to Teiresias, would rather be better left unearthed? Or is it acting towards rash a very old man at crossroads? This paper therefore decides and sees it fit to think about a tragic hero in Sophocles based on the basis of an adjective, "deinos", which the author intended to mean terrible and wonderful; in fact it is what might bring Oedipus crashing down-under. It is for these reasons that this paper propose, asserts and argues that Oedipus Rex is a perfect example of what Aristotle defines as a "tragic hero"."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Dawe, R. D. (2006). Sophocles: Oedipus Rex. (R. D. Dawe, Ed.) (Revised.). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
  • Finkelberg, M. (2006). Aristotle and episodic tragedy. Greece and Rome, 53(1), 60-72.
  • Golden, L. (1984). Othello, Hamlet, and Aristotelian tragedy. Shakespeare Quarterly, 35(2), 142-156.
  • Kallich, M. (1966). Oedipus: From man to archetype. Comparative Literature Studies, 3(1), 33-35.
  • Kennedy, X. J., & Gioia, D. (2010). Sophocles (425 B.C.) Oedipus the king. In Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing (pp. 860-897). Boston, MA: Longman.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Oedipus as a Tragic Hero (2014, January 23) Retrieved March 05, 2024, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/oedipus-as-a-tragic-hero-153799/

MLA Format

"Oedipus as a Tragic Hero" 23 January 2014. Web. 05 March. 2024. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/oedipus-as-a-tragic-hero-153799/>