Examples Of Tragedy In Oedipus Rex

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Tragic Oedipus The definition of tragedy in everyday life is a broad one. People use the word to describe loss, unforeseen consequences, or even unfortunate circumstances. When speaking of literature, however, the original definition and characteristics of tragedy were laid out by Aristotle. He describes Oedipus Rex as the work that best exemplified the definition and characteristics of tragedy. Today, there are different genres for tragedy, with Oedipus Rex fitting well into the majority of these genres. There are three characteristics of tragedy that are prevalent in Oedipus Rex: recollection culminates catastrophe, humans are doomed to fail, and pity is aroused in the reader. The determination of Oedipus is what begins the fatal domino …show more content…
(Lines: 23-30) Oedipus promises his people to do all that he can to be successful in amending the relationship with the gods so that they may find favor in the city once more. Through his search for the murderer, there is a discovery of a prophecy: the son of Laius will kill his father and lie with his mother. (Lines: 1179-1180) King Laius attempted to escape this fate by sending the baby to be killed. His attempts were for naught, as humans cannot escape their fates. While in Corinth, Oedipus hears his prophecy and attempts to flee from it. This was done in vain, however, as it is later revealed that the prophecy has come true. The baby was moved to a neighboring kingdom, and comes back to Thebes as the unknowing murderer of his father. Even though his intentions are always in the right place and even though his intentions are always for the greater good, he still fails. “I say that with those you love best you live in foulest shame unconsciously and do not see where you are in calamity” (Lines 367-369). Oedipus is unable to escape his fate, even while having many others attempting to do the same. The nature of fate and destiny were inescapable, and one cannot help but feel pity for Oedipus who did all he could to do right by his …show more content…
(Lines: 994-999). Oedipus did all he could to avoid this fate, yet he was unable to escape it. He feared harming others and left his home. At the beginning, he is trying to find justice and do right so that he may end the suffering of his people. (Lines: 61-63). Despite all of this, Oedipus could not escape his fate. The feelings that go through one’s mind cannot help but be: “poor Oedipus”. The graphic description of his wife’s death, “there, there we saw his wife hanging, the twisted rope around her neck” (Lines 1263-1264), bring the reader to feel the sorrow and pain that is later expressed by Oedipus. “He tore the brooches… away from her and lifting them up high dashed them on his own eyeballs, shrieking out such things as: they will never see the crime I have committed or had done upon me” (Lines: 1269, 1267-1272). Oedipus’ reaction instills a fear in the reader by the way it is described. The gruesome punishment Oedipus imparts on himself can be seen by the reader as unjust. His efforts, though many, were futile; his fate had already been sealed before his birth. Pity is aroused from his helplessness against written destiny, and the consequences Oedipus must face due to his fatal flaw: not knowing who his parents are. Fear comes in with the descriptions of consequences Oedipus faces due to his fate, and due to his own

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