The Tragic Hero: Oedipus.

Essay by spikist101High School, 10th grade October 2005

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Fulfilling a role as a tragic hero would be a very tough task to complete. Oedipus, in "Oedipus the King" by Sophocles, makes it look easy. His fate along with his poor choice allows him to fall. Sophocles portrays Oedipus as not overly good or bad which is one major element of the tragic hero. The audience is also involved in such that they fear and pity the character, also vital to the tragedy. Sophocles builds suspense throughout the story and allows Oedipus to reach tremendous heights, then fall suddenly to an all time low. This fall is a direct result of Oedipus' tragic flaw. Oedipus is worthy of the tragic hero title according to the steps outlined by Aristotle.

The first requirement for a tragic hero is that he is neither overly good nor bad. "Speak out to all. It's more for them than me, though more my own than my own sole," (Sophocles 8) is what Oedipus speaks to Creon when Creon comes with news.

This demonstrates that Oedipus is not selfish, but he admits that he needs to know as well. The people of Thebes need to see Oedipus as a good person so when his fall finally does occur, it is all the more devastating. The people grow to love their king, which makes his fall seem to be an unfair punishment. Oedipus is not all good though, "Come here, sir, and look me in the eyes," (62) is how Oedipus threatens the Shepard with to get information form him. This clearly shows Oedipus is not overly good, but his charitable acts make him not overly bad. Imagine a perfect person falling for no apparent reason, not very believable. He needs his bad side to make his fall credible. Oedipus has a good...