Tragedy is one of the most popular genres that have been loved for more than a thousand years. This genre was first become popular in Ancient Greece, and significant amount of the classic masterpieces are from Greek playwrights. Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, is a main authority on this genre. He sets some specific rules for each tragedy to cleanse audience’s emotion while enjoying the play. He defines tragedy in Poetics, and his criteria are major sources that determine a genuine tragedy. Since Aristotle compiled the definition of the tragedy through observing existing literacies and plays, ‘Oedipus the King’, written by a brilliant playwright Sophocles can be a standard of the tragedy. Therefore, the protagonist Oedipus
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Consequently, the hero in the tragedy should be strictly a decent and respectable person experiencing changes in one’s life from good to bad just like Oedipus. For these reasons, Oedipus perfectly satisfies the requirements for hero in tragedy, and makes the play as a standard classic tragedy defined by Aristotle.
Oedipus exemplifies Aristotle’s definition of tragedy because of his misjudgment that leads to the tragic downfall. At the beginning of the play, Oedipus the king proclaims to be “I, Oedipus who bear the famous name” (Kennedy and Giogia 860). He killed sphinx and everyone thinks he is the hero of the city. He is also positioned as the greatest man and it seems like his life will be amazing without any obstacles. One day, a plague had stricken the city, and he was obliged to solve the issue. To get rid of this disease, Oedipus had to find the murderer of Laius, the previous king who got killed by a band of highwaymen. Without knowing that he is the murderer, he started searching for the slayer of Laius and declared to take revenge for his death as if he was his son. Hamartia, or