Fate and the Hero in Oedipus Rex

Essay by Ahmer KamdarUniversity, Master's April 2005

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In the play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, Oedipus is a classic tragic hero. Oedipus is a tragic hero for the reason that he is a king whose life falls apart when he finds out his life story. The question asked in relation to Oedipus is whether he was a victim of fate or of his own actions, it perhaps is seen that it was his destiny to undergo the torment and affliction. Oedipus was conscious of the fact that he alone was accountable for his actions and decisions. His unpredictable and explosive temper was one reason that contributed to his ruin and devastation.

As a hero Oedipus was just trying to affirm his rights and was trying to guard and preserve his honor, when he swerve those who dishonored his right of way on that fateful day. In a sense a hero prizes above all else his reputation and the excellence of his life and when a hero's reputation is at stake, all other think becomes immaterial.

In Sophocles actions can be seen when Oedipus forces Teiresias to reveal his destiny and his father's name. When Teiresias tries to warn him by saying "This day will give you parents and destroy you" (Sophocles 428), still Oedipus does not care and carry on with his questioning. This amply illustrate the need for the tragic hero to learn from his mistakes for the reason being that moments like these plunge great men from their lofty social or social positions.

Nevertheless still Oedipus's inability to control his violent anger was a tragic flaw though still he was very intelligent though one can argue that killing four men at Phokis alone more than qualified him as a physical force to be reckoned with. In spite of his pride, his aptitude, or his...