Oedipus Tragic Hero Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… Much of the credit is due Oedipus being presented as the “tragic hero”. He was a man who through no fault of his own was cast into a current of fate that would forever change not just his life but the life of all that were associated with him. Indeed, his story continues to deeply impact our emotions even today. Aristotle posited that a tragic hero was “such a person who neither is superior in virtue and justice, nor undergoes a change to misfortune because of vice and wickedness, but because of some error, and who is one of those people with a great reputation and good fortune” (DuBois 63). Under this criteria, a tragic hero would have an inherent goodness and act in ways that were appropriate for the situation and circumstances. Oedipus met each of those criteria. No, he wasn't superior to all of us but it must be admitted that he was superior to many of us. Never-the-less, he is just a human. He is easily angered and prone to fits of rage. He is also prideful and subject to rash decisions. Still, however, his intent is typically …show more content…
He deserved neither the punishment of having his feet tied nor that of being exiled from his father's kingdom. He acted only in ways that were reasonable given the circumstances and the time. Indeed, as Ades (358) contends, Oedipus was Sophacles' preeminent tragic hero. His morals were beyond reasonable fault yet he fell into his fate determined role of murderer of his father and husband of his mother. He did so not because of some inherent vice or wickedness, but rather because of a long series of mistakes and misunderstandings. It is true that his own decisions and actions led him down the path of fate yet in many ways it was the actions of his birth father that insured Oedipus' fate. Had the father raised the infant as his own rather than having sent him from the kingdom it is likely that Oedipus would never have murdered his father. His mother would never have been left a widow and would have never been available to wed her own son. Neither mother nor son, of course, knew the true relationship that existed between them. They owed that also to the fact that Oedipus' birth father had sent him away from them when he was just an

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