Oedipus, A Tragic Hero Essay

1021 words - 4 pages

Oedipus a Tragic Hero

What is a tragic hero? A Tragic hero is a man or character who has great influence, makes an error in his or her actions, and who must suffer the consequences of those actions. Oedipus’ tragic flaws starts with his excessive pride which leads to overconfidence as the people in the city lift him up and feed his ego: “You are not one of the immortal gods we know; Yet we have come to you to make our prayer. As to the man of all men best in adversity and wisest in the ways of God.” (Prologue, Line 34-37)

Personality/character changes that moved him from being a great king to a blind man.
In the prologue Oedipus is seen as a captain of the ship: “Ah, when years of kingship are remembered, let them not say we rose, but later fell. Keep the state from going down in the storm!” (P.961, line 51-53) Then Oedipus replies to the people letting them know that he has sent his brother-in-law to the Oracle to get help for the city. He is very overconfident at this point because he has already saved Thebes from the curse of Sphinx and taken great pride in his name: “I would not have you speak through messengers- I, Oedipus, who bear the famous name.” (P. 960, line 7-9) He is in even more of a good spirit when he hears that Creon has returned: “May his news be as fair as his face is Radiant!” (P.961, line 83) After getting the news about the King before him from Creon, Oedipus changes into an investigator: “Where shall we find a clue to solve that crime, after so many years?” (P.962, 112)

When Oedipus greets the blind seer Teiresia, he greets him with words of praise: “Blind though you are, you know the city lies sick with plague, my lord, we find that you alone can save us.” (P.967, line 87-89) But as it gets harder for the seer to tell him what the plague is:”Let me go home. Bear your own fate, and I’ll bear mine.” (P.967, line 105) Oedipus gets impatient and short with the seer. He begs and then demands that the seer tell him what he knows: “What a wicked old man you are! You’d try a stone’s patience! Out with it!” (P968, line 118,119)

By Scene 2 Creon learns that Oedipus is making accusations against him. At this point Oedipus is angry and starts interrogating Creon: “Do you think I do not know that you plotted to kill me, plotted to steal my throne?” (P.972, line 22, 23) Things are getting worse as he acts like a hunter while questioning Creon.

Next enters his wife/mother Iocaste and she tries to get them both to be reasonable. She gets Oedipus to tell her what he thinks is happening. After he tells her about the charges brought against him she tells him, “Set your mind at rest” and begins to tell him the story of how King Laios was killed. While she is talking,...

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