Oedipus The King : A Tragic Hero Essay

1367 Words Mar 9th, 2016 null Page
The questions regarding fate are ones that have been asked for centuries: does it exist; if so, do actions matter if people are headed toward a set endgame; and can fate be escaped. Ultimately, one wonders more about the journey towards the goal rather than the goal itself. These are topics frequently discussed in Sophocles’ timeless tale, Oedipus the King. It is the tragic story of Oedipus, king of Thebes, who learns the terrible truths about his destiny while trying to save his city from a plague. He often displays noble traits of courage, determination, and selflessness, if even haughtiness at times. Critics allude to Oedipus being a tragic hero; his inherent pride is what lead him to his eventual destruction. However, can one say this if he was doomed from the moment he was born? If it is true that fate is an unstoppable force, as is the case in the play, then the argument can be made that Oedipus was set for tragedy no matter the decisions he made or the flaws and strengths he possessed. A continuous theme seen in ancient Greek literature is that of bad fortune coming to those who seek their fate before it is truly realized. Critics use Oedipus as a prime example of this, but fail to take into account the characters who did it before. In order to analyze how Oedipus’ tragic fall from grace came to be, one must first realize the actions taken beforehand with his parents. Laius and Jocasta were the first to seek the council of the Oracle to gain knowledge about their…

Related Documents