The Harmartia of Heroes Sophocles Oedipus Rex

Essay by jhorganHigh School, 10th gradeA-, October 2014

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

Downloaded 2 times

The Harmartia of Heroes

The hamartia of the three tragic heroes lead to regret, exile, and death. The tragic hero of each of the three selections of literature displays flaws leading to their ultimate demise. In Sophocles' play Oedipus Rex, King Oedipus is unable to control his temper, and as such finds the harsh truth. In Antigone, another play of Sophocles, Creon's stubbornness leads to his depression and regret in handling the situation he is presented. Finally, in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo cannot handle weakness in his life, which leads to his untimely self-inflicted death, because he cannot adapt to change within his tribe. All three heroes never truly understand their flaws, and this inability to learn and conquer leads them down a spiraling path. Their personalities and interactions can be easily compared across the three storylines. Oedipus, Creon, and Okonkwo all possess major tragic flaws which are comparable to each other.

These flaws, horrible tempers, paranoia, fear of weakness, the inability to adapt, and hubris destroy their power and result in their annihilation.

The range of emotion displayed by the three heroes varies from complete bliss to unstoppable rage. Oedipus compliments himself and claims he is world-famous, then turns around and rages against Tiresias and his family members. Creon also fights his own family and his advisors. Okonkwo is led into exile for being unable to control himself. The three heroes are very comparable in that they all claim to be great when their own internal battles are never conquered. This results in the sudden changes of rage that overcome each hero at one point in their story. In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo reacts poorly to his wife's absence:

Okonkwo knew she was not speaking the truth. He walked back to his obi to...