Oedipus Rex: a Tragic Hero

Topics: Oedipus, Laius, Murder Pages: 2 (471 words) Published: November 4, 2008
Through Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero, it can be inferred that Oedipus is a tragic hero because of three main reasons: he discove his fate by his own actions, he falls from great esteem and his story arises fear and empathy. With all these attributes, Oedipus directly fits Aristotle’s definition.

Oedipus discovers his fate not by things happening to him but instead by his own actions. Oedipus would have probably never learned that he was Laois’s murderer if he had not called on Teresias. This action uncovered the truth because it had not yet occurred to him that he could be the murderer until Teiresias said, “You are the murderer of the king whose murderer you seek” (pg.441). Since it caused him to doubt his innocence, he made a greater effort to separate the truth from lies. When he asked Jocasta about Laios’s murder, it further uncovered his fate because she made him doubt his innocence even more and revealed that there was a servant that could put an end to his doubts. Lastly, calling on the servant led Oedipus to uncover the truth since he confirmed that Oedipus was the murderer of the king .Therefore, Oedipus’s fate was disclosed by his own actions of calling on Teiresias, asking Jocasta about Laois’s death, and calling on the servant .

Like a tragic hero, Oedipus fell from great esteem. At the beginning, Oedipus was a king and hero to the people of Thebes. He started falling from this great esteem when he said that the murderer of King Laios should be shunned. Since he was the man he spoke of, he lost the respect of the people of Thebes and his place as king. Blinding himself was the event that completed his fall. “He was called my king ….but now whose tale is more miserable?”(pg 465). This quote shows how in the end Oedipus goes from being a powerful king to being a blind and pitied man. Therefore, Oedipus falls from great esteem.

Oedipus’s story aroused fear and empathy. This was because even though Oedipus left Corinth to attempt to...
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