Oedipus Rex Case
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Characteristics of a tragic hero
The characteristics of a tragic hero include the following:
The character should be born into some form of nobility or wisdom (remember that in ancient times, nobility was the royal family; modernly, nobility could be social.)
The character should be male.
The character shuld have some extraordinory qualities.
The character has a personality trait that leads to his downfall
The character is doomed to make an error in judgment.
The character should be neither good nor bad, but the audience should be able to identify with the character.
The character is responsible for his fate.
The character will fall from great heights or esteem when he realizes he has made an irreversible mistake.
The character will face a tragic death with honor.
In fact, every feature in the definition of the tragic hero can be applied to the character of Oedipus. Beside the fact that he is a noble and good character, he has royal roots because he will be the son of Laius at the end. Therefore, he has good reputation because he is the son of a king. At the beginning, he tells Jocasta about his life history informing her that he is the son of Polybus and Morope the king and the queen of Cornith. He left his city because a fortune-teller told him that he will kill his father and marry his mother so he left the city. He left the city with the fear of this prophecy. Jocasta tells Oedipus about the prophecy told to Laius that he will have a son who will kill him and marry his mother. She tells him not to believe such prophecy because no man can see the future. Moreover, she reveals to him that they killed their own son because of this prophecy. At the end, Oedipus turned to be the son of the previous king who killed his father and marry his mother. To conclude, he has royal roots wither he is the son of Laius or Polybus. Although Oedipus is a noble man of royal roots, but he has some errors in his character, he is not fully virtuous man because he is a tragic hero.
First, he is a good man. He made a virtuous service to Thebes and save the city by solving the riddle of Sphinx. In addition, he is good king and he can feel the suffering of his people because of the plague. He tells them “each one of you is enclosed to himself, His anguish, not anothers; but my spirt,Groans for the city, for myself, for you”. He tells them that his suffering is greater than them. His intelligence and smartness saved Thebes one time before, his people trust him, and they are waiting for his solution of this situation of the plague. They trust him to the extent that they compare him to God “god in you”, they believe that he may something form God about this disaster. He is great man that is why he sent Creon to the oracle of Apollo before the complaining of people. “I have sent Creon, Son of Menoikeus, Brother of the queen, To Delphi, Apollos place of revelation”.He is a king who knows what he should do for his people. Another good quality in Oedipus, that he is strong enough to punish himself by blindness instead of suicide. If he is a weak character, he will kill himself beside Jocasta at the end. He has the bravery to face the Theban people and to tell them that he is the killer of Laius. Therefore, it is clear that he has enough qualities to be a good character at least better than us.
It is clear that Oedipus is a good, brave, and intelligent king; he is a good character in general but he has some flaws or errors in his character. As a tragic hero, Oedipuss errors bring his tragic downfall out at the end. He is an extraordinary man who solves the riddle of Sphinx which people of Thebes were incapable to solve from last many years. First, the prominent flaw in his character is his stubbornness. He is stubborn to the extent that he does what he is thinking of whatever it costs. At the beginning, Teiresias refuses to speak about the truth of Laiuss murder but he insists to know the killer to save Thebes. At the end Teiresias tells him, that he is the murderer “the killer you are searching is yourself.” Then, when Jocasta advices him not to follow the truth because it will bring his agony “you are a man of agony”, he ignores her and keep on questioning the shepherd. He is stubborn and he wants to know his real identity from the shepherd. In fact, this stubbornness will bring his agony when he recognizes his real parents. Another flaw