Freshman English: Schumacher p.1
December 6th, 2012
Tragic Hero: Oedipus Final Draft
OEDIPUS: THE FATE OF POWERUFUL A KING
Imagine being a hero, and your destiny is to kill your father and marry your mother. This is Oedipus’s fate. When he was still a baby, his parents heard of the prophecy they had a shepherd take Oedipus to Kithairon to die. There the shepherd gave the baby to another shepherd from Corinth, where Oedipus was given to the king and queen. In Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, Oedipus proves himself to be a tragic hero by exhibiting the four traits of a tragic hero; goodness, superiority, tragic flaw and tragic realization.
Oedipus has goodness, the first trait of a tragic hero. Oedipus is determined to solve the problem in Thebes, and declare to Creon that "once more [he] must bring what is dark to light" (9). Oedipus is saying that he wants to do what is good for his country. He is good because he has already saved Thebes once and he wants to save Thebes again. Later, Oedipus is talking about his wife with Creon and says, “Everything that she wants she has from me“(31). Oedipus is telling Creon that he provides for his wife, not only Thebes. This shows goodness because he cares for his family, not only his country. Oedipus’s goodness may help him now, but his superiority may not help him.
Oedipus’ second trait is superiority. The priest proclaimed "Great Oedipus O powerful King of Thebes! (4)". The priest is saying that Oedipus is basically one of the best kings Thebes ever had. This shows that Oedipus is superior because people think highly of him. Oedipus asked Teiresias to come to him to help solve the problem. Teiresias is hinting that Oedipus killed Lais, Oedipus got mad at him, so Oedipus starts comparing himself to Teiresias, “wealth, power, craft of statesmanship, kingly position, everywhere admired” (21), unlike Teiresias. Oedipus is saying that he is better than the...
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