Oedipus - A Freud and Aristole View

Essay by lavern.white74College, UndergraduateB-, June 2007

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"Oedipus the King" by Sophocles has been considered one of the greatest Greek tragedies. It is a Greek myth that may have been inspired by real events and people. With that thought in mind this play has indeed, help us get a better understanding of Aristotle's, a philosopher, thoughts of a Tragic Hero and Sigmund Freud's, a psychoanalytic theorist, thoughts on the affects of the same on our lives (especially male children and their psychological development). Both Aristotle and Sigmund Freud also belief that Oedipus was not in control of his actions, but in fact, was acting in a manner that was a part of his fate.

Aristotle, found that Oedipus the King was not only an influential myth but also as a source of what defines true tragedy. He believed that you can not have a good or wicked man falling into misfortune or an evil man rising to fortune because none of those will inspire the feelings of pity of fear, which will help the reader or watcher of the play to reach his/her catharsis experience, which is a calling forth and purging of emotions.

Aristotle believes that the best type of tragedy occurs when a person whom is an average (or one who posses good and bad qualities) citizen undergoes a change in fortune. This is best portrayed when a respected individual with an excellent reputation goes through disaster that results in severe misfortune.

Oedipus the King meets the standards of Aristotle's tragic hero definition. When Oedipus vows to find Laius killer to help end the plague that has fallen on the city, to help the city and himself (for he also feared that the killer may come for him) that showed us that average, but greatly respect characteristic. Then when he sought...