Hamartia In Oedipus The King

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Hamartia, or the first step in Aristotle 's theory of the tragic hero, explains that the play must demonstrate a flaw or error of judgement. The play offers an illustration of "hamartia" throughout its prose, as at the beginning of the play; Oedipus thinks he is free of guilt. However, his rash anger leads him to unknowingly kill his real father, King Lauis, at the crossroads. The murder of Oedipus ' father is one of the essential links in his downfall, which indicates that his anger is a very important part of the play. Killing another man due to an argument would be considered an overreaction to modern day audiences; however the actions of Oedipus to an ancient Greek audience would not have been as radical, as a man had the right to defend himself when attacked. When the blind prophet Teiressias brings him bad news, the audience sees the first glimpses of Oedipus ' anger, OEDIPUS: "Indeed I am so angry I shall not hold back a jot of what I think. For I would have you know I think you were complotter of the deed and doer of the deed save in so far as for the actual killing. Had you had eyes I would have said alone you murdered him." 390 …show more content…
In Oedipus Rex, the abrupt discovery of the identity of Oedipus’s true parents,

OEDIPUS: “Light of the sun, let me look upon you no more after today! I who first saw the light bred of a match accursed in my living with them I lived with, cursed in my killing.” 1363-1369

Signifying the fate that Oedipus brought upon himself, in a way, the realisation of who he was, brought upon by only his determination to know the truth, and his error in judgement – where Oedipus truly is “doomed from the start, but bears no responsibility for possessing his flaw”. As he is determined to find the killer of King Lauis – even if it is himself –

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