Topics: Tragedy, Poetics, Anagnorisis Pages: 3 (865 words) Published: October 18, 2006
Oedipus Tyrannous

When half human monsters walked the Earth and mythical Gods ruled all of creation, one man was destined to suffer the worst fate ever imaginable. Oedipus Tyrannous is a classic Greek tragedy written by Sophocles around 470 BC. According to Aristotle's Poetics, Greek tragedies should follow certain guidelines in order to be effective tragic drama. Many of Oedipus' character traits ultimately justify his place as a perfect specimen of Aristotle's tragic hero. According to Aristotle's Poetics, Oedipus Tyrannous is tragic hero due to his hamartia and peripeteia. In Greek tragedy every hero eventually shows signs of weakness and flaw. Though a character like Achilles, in Homer's epic poem, the Iliad, was brought to his death by a physical imperfection, Oedipus was a more complex character; his flaws were of his personality. His most obvious flaw would most definitely be his hubris. Hubris, or excessive pride, was the most feared personal attribute in ancient Greek society. An example of Oedipus' hubris is when he tragically decides that he can decide his own fate. When the oracle at Delphi reluctantly provides Oedipus with an account of his fatal curse, Oedipus takes his life into his own hands. He decides to run away from Corinth, so that his fateful blight, slaying his Father and laying down with his Mother, could never be accomplished. When the Gods have cursed a fate, destiny can never be changed. Another example of his hubris is when he decides to blind himself for all of eternity. Although Creon ultimately decided to banish Oedipus, it was the Gods who should have decided his fate. Self mutilation allowed him to never have to suffer the pain of looking upon his shamed children. This is a punishment he should have had to endure. Oedipus' downfall would most be attributed to his hubris.

Every leader should be stern, yet tolerant. Oedipus' quickness to judge, also contributes to his tragic flaw. A successful leader...
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