The Tragic Greek Hero
This paper discusses the tragic hero in Greek mythology by comparing Sophocles' character Oedipus with other Greek heroes---Hercules, Odysseus and Achilles.
# 69105 | 1,015 words | 3 sources | APA | 2005 |
Published on Oct 04, 2006 in Literature (Greek and Roman) , English (Analysis) , Literature (Comparative Literature)
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This paper explains that a tragic hero, which was created by the ancient Greeks and defined by the philosopher Aristotle, is a hero who is otherwise perfect except for a fatal flaw, that eventually results in his demise. The author points out that the typical tragic hero is a complex and well-developed character, as is Sophocles' "Oedipus the King ", who is a textbook tragic hero that draws out the three responses from the audience--attachment, fear and pity. The paper relates that Oedipus' demise is unlike the demise of other typical heroes, like Hercules or Odysseus, because Oedipus' story does not end with his death but rather with blindness and his expulsion from the human community.
From the Paper:"The complexity of Oedipus' "harmartia" is an important element of his heroism.The Greek term "harmartia" means "tragic flaw." However, the tragic flaw, in Greek mythology, is more of a mistake than an innate flaw. Aristotle stated that all tragic heroes suffer a "harmartia." This human weakness allows the audience to relate to the hero and feel sorry for him. Oedipus' flaw is his lack of knowledge about his own identity. Because he is not responsible for this flaw, the audience feels sorry for him and fears for him because they know there is nothing he can do to change his fate."
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