Oedipus: A Tragic Hero or Not? Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 19 June 2016

Oedipus: A Tragic Hero or Not?

Oedipus is definitely a tragic hero. In Aristotle’s theory he talks about the ways you become a tragic hero. The first thing that happened to Oedipus is the ‘the reversal of fortune leading up to a final recognition’. In the story this happens man times, When he is a baby he was sent to the mountain to be killed which would be a misfortune. A shepherd comes up to the mountain and saves him by bringing him back to Corinth. Oedipus kills his biological father. Later in life Oedipus solves the riddle of the sphinx and becomes the town hero. The next thing that happens would be when Oedipus finds out that he married his mom and killed his father which was what he was trying to stay away from his whole life.

Another trait that a Tragic Hero has is experiences heavy suffering. Oedipus suffers many times in this play. When Oedipus was on top of the mountain his parents put some type of metal pipe in his feet so he could not walk. Oedipus must have felt pain there. Emotional wise when he found out the king and queen of Corinth were not his parents he must have felt pain. When he found out he killed his biological father he must have felt pain and when he found his wife/mother hanging he felt pain. When Oedipus looks back at all the tragedies in his life you can see that he had heavy suffering throughout his entire life.

The last thing that can be a characteristic of a tragic hero is when his misfortune is brought about by error of judgement. This also happens a lot in the story Oedipus Rex. The fist error of judgement in my opinion would be when Jocasta and her husband decide to put Oedipus on the mountain instead of killing him right on the spot. If they would have none of this would have happened.

Another misfortune by error of judgement would be when he killed his father. He and his gang of thugs killed the king and most of his men. Why did he have to do it? That death was cause for no real reason accept for money and he could have escaped the prophecy if he would have stopped killing for money. These are the errors of judgement in Oedipus Rex.

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  • Date: 19 June 2016

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