Oedipus The King : Oedipus Essay

1048 Words Sep 22nd, 2015 null Page
Aristotle’s definition of a classical tragedy is demonstrated and expanded further throughout Oedipus the King through Oedipus’ characteristics, the motives for his actions, and the appeal he provides for the reader. In the play, Oedipus the King, King Oedipus of Thebes is the tragic hero whose discovery of the truth dismantles his prestige. This is demonstrated through Oedipus’ realization that he was the child of the prophecy who murdered his father, Laius, and married his mother, Jocasta, to rise to his position as king of the Thebes. As a result of this discovery, Oedipus turns from a commanding individual to an ineffectual one; this is seen through his self-mutilation and desire to be disciplined for his actions. To further support Oedipus as a tragic hero, Aristotle states in his Poetics, “… a man who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error and frailty.” (Aristotle 177). In this excerpt, Aristotle states that Oedipus is not an immoral character, but rather, someone whose ignorance led him to commit acts of immorality that inevitably led to his downfall. Furthermore, Aristotle describes that a tragic hero performs “terrible or pitiful” actions against those who are closest to him (Aristotle 178-179). Accordingly, in Oedipus the King, Oedipus causes his mother innumerable pain because of his murder of Laius and the invalidation of her perception that prophecies are not always proper predictions.…

Related Documents