why oh why

January 2, 2017 General Studies

Aristotle’s concept of a Tragic Hero is that the hero is a good man of high status who displays a tragic flaw and experiences a dramatic reversal, as well as an intense moment of recognition. In the story “Oedipus Rex”, Oedipus is defiantly a classic example of a tragic hero. Oedipus is a tragic hero because he is a king whose life falls apart when he finds out his life story. His downfall is caused by a result of his own free choice. Also his punishment exceeds the crime that he committed.

To begin, one thing that makes a hero a “tragic hero” is their stature. Oedipus, who the king of Thebes, seeing as King Laius was killed, was very full of himself because of the fact the he saved the city from the Sphinx. Oedipus had always had been in a high level of importance because his original father was king Laius, then he was raised by Polybus, King of Corinth (which made him, in both cases, a prince). Another thing that made him be high in status was that he was married to Queen Jocasta, his mother.

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In addition, Oedipus” downfall or misfortune was a result of his own free will. After his biological parents heard about the prophecy, they sent a messenger to pin him to the side of a mountain to die. But the messenger felt bad for Oedipus and gave him to King Polybus and his wife, Queen Merope. After Oedipus leaves Corinth in fear that he may kill his father and mother he goes to the city of Thebes. While he is there he solves the riddle of the sphinx, and as was said from the prophecy, he killed his blood father, King Laius, and married his blood mother, Queen Jocasta. For example, this quote “But this child had not been 3 days in this world before the King had pierced the babies ankles and left him to die on a lonely mountain side”, shows that Oedipus or Jocasta knows the real past of Oedipus.


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