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Tragic Hero

Uploaded by myusername on Oct 07, 2001

Aristotle described a tragic hero as being a person who, through a flaw, in their own character, is brought from a high position and learns to “see the light” before their own destruction. In the Theban play. ‘King Oedipus’, Oedipus is considered to be a tragic hero after his mother and father try to cheat fate, then later when Oedipus discovered his own fate, he tried to cheat his fate also only in truth ending up where destiny had planned. Another Theban play, ‘Antigone’, also written by Sophocles includes Oedipus’ daughter, Antigone, as the tragic hero when she dies for what she believes in.

When Laius and Jocasta discovered the fate of their unborn child, Oedipus, was to kill his father and marry his mother, Laius and Jocasta tried to cheat fate. By placing Oedipus on a hill and inserting a spike into his foot and through the ground Jocasta and Laius had hoped to kill their child, and cheat their fate. However, a shepherd man discovered this neglected child he brought him to the home of a king who was trying to conceive children without any success. This king took Oedipus into his family never telling him about his tragic past. After Oedipus grew up knowing only of one family he too tried to cheat his fate. Oedipus had learned by means of a prophet that his fate was to kill his father and marry his mother, so he left the town in which he had lived his whole life, and traveled to Thebes. On the way to Thebes, Oedipus had killed a man and saved the town by solving the riddle of the Sphinx. (The Sphinx was an awful sea monster who would eat everyone crossing his way who would not correctly answer his riddle.) Upon arriving in Thebes the town praised him and the Queen, Jocasta, married hi. Unaware of what had happened and his fate coming true without his own realization was Oedipus’ downfall. Prior to realizing what he had done, Oedipus promised Jocasta that he would kill the man who had killed her husband. When Oedipus recognized that he had been the one who had killed Laius, he took a knife to his eyes leaving himself blind, as to symbolize himself not seeing his own doom coming true. Oedipus himself exclaimed, “Cone, feel you brother’s hands. It was their work that darkened these clear eyes –...

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Uploaded by:   myusername

Date:   10/07/2001

Category:   Antigone

Length:   4 pages (816 words)

Views:   3476

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