Three Characteristics Of Oedipus As An Aristotelian Tragic Hero

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Tragedy can strike at any moment. That is what the many insurance commercials say. If tragedy strikes, the victim is not automatically considered a tragic character though, at least not in the classic sense. Aristotle put forth a notion that a tragic hero must possess three characteristics, and Oedipus, being a person of high estate, acquainted with hamartia, and falling from his position and happiness would easily be considered an Aristotelian tragic hero. Aristotle, in his book, Poetics, proposed three characteristics that a character must have in order to be considered a tragic hero. The first is that the character must be “of high estate” (Kennedy and Gioia 2013). This could be achieved either by being part of the aristocracy or possessing …show more content…
His wife hung herself, and he gouged out his own eyes before accepting the punishment for his crimes. Not only did he lose his claim to the throne, but he lost his wife and children as well. After gouging out his eyes, he spoke to the chorus and says, “Thrice miserable—Oedipus, noblest of all the line / Of Kadmos…” (Sophacles 2013, lines 150-152). His fall from his station was excruciatingly epic. At the very end of the play, the final speech, given by the chorus, who had commented on the proceedings throughout the entire play, lamented Oedipus’ …show more content…
Even Christians are not immune. Paul, in his first letter to the Thessalonians states that he had sent Timothy to strengthen them in the troubles they were encountering. He goes on to say, “But you know that we are destined for such troubles” (1 Thessalonians 3:3 NLT). Even as Oedipus was destined for the trouble he experienced, everyone is destined for trouble. It is the Christian who has an advocate in Jesus and He will carry those that put their faith in Him. Fear is the enemy of faith. Paul wrote in his second letter to Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV). Oedipus had a sound mind, was gifted in wisdom, but gave in to fear. Christians need not end up like Oedipus, who, because of his high station and noble character, his hamartia of running in fear, and consequently loss of his throne and ultimately his happiness, became a perfect, well-rounded Aristotelian tragic

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