The Tragic Hero In Sophocles Oedipus The King

1131 Words5 Pages
In ancient Greek society, the tragedy was both a deeply spiritual and deeply emotional art form that was integral to daily life. Perhaps one of the best examples of the genre of Aristotelian tragedy is Sophocles’ Oedipus the King. The work is distinguished by the deep emotion and thought it elicits from the reader. This is partly due to Sophocles’ portrayal of Oedipus as the ultimate tragic hero. Oedipus is characterized by both his pride and his honorable character. Through such characterization, Sophocles successfully heightens the tragedy of the play by demonstrating how these traits contribute to the catastrophic conclusion and supplements the play’s tragic vision. Sophocles deliberately depicts Oedipus as a seemingly infallible, prideful ruler in order to augment the poignant tragedy that…show more content…
He is a noble character who ultimate brings about his complex reversal thanks to his hubris. These characteristics are all carefully chosen in order to heighten Oedipus the King’s effectiveness as a tragic work. Oedipus’ capability as a ruler not only leads his people to endure great suffering once they lose him, but it also contributes to the audience’s catharsis by amplifying the emotion Oedipus evokes. They feel both pity and fear, as they watch the tragic fall of the once-great Oedipus and fear that such a fate may befall them, if they too are unable to reign in their hubris. This hubris ultimately brings about Oedipus’ fate, as his assuredness in his own infallibility causes him to recklessly attempt to prove that his judgment is correct. However, this miscalculation leads to the revelation of the prophecy, and brings about both death and grief. Oedipus’ character traits contribute not only to his own suffering, but also to the suffering of his family and his people. Additionally, these traits also perfectly align with classic tenants of an Aristotelian tragedy, making Oedipus the King a model tragic
Open Document