Oedipus Rex

Topics: Sophocles, Tragedy, Poetics Pages: 2 (713 words) Published: May 1, 2011
Zachary Givens
Mr. Flynn
Ap Lit and Composition

Death and heartbreak, both two very tragic things that could happen in your life, but what makes these things tragic? According to Aristotle there are many elements to a tragic tale. Oedipus Rex lives up to all of them. The reader knows how serious Oedipus’s actions are, how complete they are, and how high his fall is.

A tragedy by definition is a drama which imitates an important and casually related series of events in the life of a significant person, such events ending in an unhappy catastrophe. The Greek tragedies are plays based on myths which were well known and enjoyed by audiences. Most of the plays contain certain elements that Aristotle identified. A few of the elements of tragedy based on Aristotle’s definition are: tragedies are an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and it has to be of a huge magnitude. Oedipus Rex has every one of these elements in his tragic story. Oedipus was proud more than a normal human being. He wanted to rise from normal and hence he finally achieves the dream when he saves Thebes. His character shows his confidence and intelligence. He proclaimed himself to be better and smarter than the gods and this is where his tragic flaw destroys him.

Oedipus makes the mistakes of killing his father, marrying his mother, and saying he will banish the killer Laius. “Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude”. Oedipus’s actions were very serious. Killing someone is one of the most serious actions a human can do. His actions are complete in there nature, meaning there is no way to undo the wrongs that have been done. Oedipus can not bring his father back from the dead; he can not turn back the clock and not marry the widowed woman. Oedipus’s fall is of the highest magnitude, he is up on a pedestal because of his previous actions. He was the only man to solve the...
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