Oedipus and His Tragic Character

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22 May 2010

Oedipus and his Tragic Character

In the play Oedipus the King we identify the classic tragic hero. The character, Oedipus Rex plays the role of the tragic hero perfectly. He shows the three main characteristics being talented and of noble birth, possessing a tragic flaw that causes the downfall and pain of everyone, and the recognition of responsibility. Oedipus’s first characteristic of being a tragic hero is being talented and of noble birth. Oedipus is talented because during his journey to run away from his curse, the oracle foresaw for him, he stumbles upon the Riddle of the Sphinx in Thebes; Oedipus solved the riddle and is rewarded to be king and is given the old kings wife. “You freed us from the Sphinx; you came to Thebes and cut us loose from the bloody tribute we had that harsh brutal singer” (Line 44).

As Oedipus is being rewarded for his talents, no one knows that Oedipus is already of noble birth and is the true heir to this kingship. Only the blind prophet of Thebes, Tiresias knew before anyone else found out that Oedipus is the old king’s son which made him nobility. “None of you knows and I will never reveal my dreadful secrets, not to say your own” (Lines 373-379)

The next characteristic that shows Oedipus playing the tragic hero is him possessing a tragic flaw. Oedipus’s flaw is being a very narcissistic person. He might have been a good leader for all the years that have come to past but he is very full of himself and makes sure everyone remembers that he solves the riddle of the sphinx even though it is many years ago. Another thing is if his people had problems like the plague that was spreading, no one is as sick as him because to him he had to be number one no matter what the situation. Lines 71-73 show his personality perfectly, “Well I know you are sick to death, all of you, but sick as u are, no is as sick as I”. This personality if his stirs up much trouble for himself that has the real...
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