According to Aristotle’s view, a tragic hero is one who wields peripetia(tragic reversal of fortune), spaudaios(hero) and hamartia(error of judgement) qualities. This paper will carefully analyze Oedipus, the protagonist of sophocles tragic drama, basing on the three…
Consequently, he loses the grip of his kingdom, his family, he blinds himself before going into exile. Aristotle’s three fold definition of a tragic hero is exemplified by Oedipus’ reversal of fortune, error in judgment and his nobility (Sophocles, storr &Parker,2005).
Oedipus nobility is exhibited by him being a prince by birth as he was born to Laios and Jocasta, princeship through adoption to Merope and Polybus thus becoming heir to the throne of Corinth and final accession as king of Thebes through democratic election. Aristotle uses Oedipus’ nobility to explain what a hero should be, In poetica XIII, Aristotle(350 B.C) says that a hero should be prosperous, highly renowned just like the personalities of Thyestes, Oedipus and other successful men from noble families. From the introduction of Oedipus the king, it is evident that Oedipus is a great king and thus not a common ruler. His subjects revere him and treat him like a god. Likewise, Oedipus is committed and compassionate to his responsibility to lead and protect his subjects. He feels pain for his ruined city to a point where he becomes sleepless (Sophocles,yeats & Curtis,2008).
Oedipus is an upright and a just king. He pursues the truth relentlessly, although it is his upright and just nature that leads to his downfall. Oedipus declines to be deterred from realizing his goal of uncovering the murder of King Laios and does not even stop after discovering that he is implicated in the murder. It can be noted that Oedipus suffers because of his goodness and not his guilt. Thus, as the definition of Aristotle holds, Oedipus is the hero whose fate is self-caused despite the fact that it is undeserved (Aristotle,350 B.C).
Although Oedipus is certainly noble, there are varied arguments on whether his tragic error or hamartia was intellectual or moral. A tragedy should present a hero, who in moral sense should be ...
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