Oedipus Rex and the Hero's Journey

Topics: Oedipus, Sophocles, Tragic hero Pages: 3 (891 words) Published: April 4, 2013
Discuss whether or not a hero who is tragic by trait and definition can exist within the structure of the monomyth. Quote Bank
“untroubled influence” (Fitzgerald, 31)
“can not lift her head from the death surge” (Fitzgerald, 4) “what defilement?” (Fitzgerald, 7)
“how shall [they] rid [themselves] of it?” (Fitzgerald, 7) “no help in the truth” (Fitzgerald, 17)
“the net God has been weaving for him” (Fitzgerald, 39)
By definition, a tragic hero is a character who is unavoidably doomed. That hero’s fate has already been decided but the character usually spends the entire course of a story trying tirelessly and unsuccessfully to change that. Oedipus easily falls into this definition. Oedipus is also a hero that goes through a heroic journey. Therefore, Oedipus proves that a tragic hero can exist in the structure of a monomyth.

Oedipus is a tragic hero for many reasons. First being his tragic flaw: Hubris. For example, while Teiresias, Creon, and the Choragos all try to reason with Oedipus he continues to be stubborn and ignore everything they tell him. As king, Oedipus is greatly fond of his position and extremely conceited about it. This causes him to be defensive towards Creon, instantly believing that Creon must be after his throne. This, of course, is not true as Creon is happy with his life and his “untroubled influence”, so he wouldn’t want to have the king’s responsibilities.(Fitzgerald, 31) Creon is only trying to make Oedipus see that he is not responsible for the murder. But, Oedipus is arrogant and childish so he refuses to be reasoned with or entertain the possibility that he may be wrong. But, Oedipus is also a tragic hero for reasons that he cannot control. From birth he was given a prophecy and his future was planned for him regardless of anyone’s actions. It was foretold that Oedipus would kill his father and sleep with his mother. Even though he was moved far away and raised under false parents, the prophecy was correct...
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