The Five Stages of a Tragic Hero and Oedipus' going through them.

Essay by cjmacaroniUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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The True Tragic Hero

In Sophocles' play Oedipus Rex, every reader is riding a roller coaster of his life. Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero is one person who goes through five stages which in Sophocles' play the main character Oedipus does. The five stages that he goes through are pre-eminence, flaw, fall, gaining of insight, and rise.

Pre-eminent is one who surpasses all the others or should be looked up to. Oedipus at the beginning of the play starts of with the priest saying, "O Great Oedipus, O powerful King of Thebes"(1223)! Right from the start he is being praised to as a god would be praised. The priest continues to say, "Therefore, O mighty King, we turn to you: Find us our safety, find us a remedy, Whether by counsel of the gods or the men"(1224). The people of Thebes looks to Oedipus to lead, protect, and keep them healthy to the best of his ability.

Then the flaw stage where he shows a blemish, weakness, or imperfection. This is the stage that Oedipus dives right into a the beginning when he first addresses the people of Thebes, "...I, Oedipus, who bear the famous name... Tell me, and never doubt tat I will help you In every way I can; I should be heartless..."(1223). Oedipus is ignorant to his own big head blowing up higher and higher. "Is this your prayer? It may be answered. Come, Listen to me, act as the crisis demands, And you shall have relief from all these evils"(1228). He is believing that the people are praying to him forget the gods he is the one that is to be prayed too.

The third and most interesting stage, the downfall of the hero. The loss of Oedipus' power, prosperity,