Heroes come and go; some retain their honor, while others are stripped of all their glory and become tragic heroes. Despite belonging to different eras, both Oedipus from Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles, and the comedian Bill Cosby experience a similar, successful fate then controversy leading them to their current state. Oedipus and Bill Cosby stood as elite symbols to their followers. However, when tragedy struck it didn 't take long for these heroes to crumble. Oedipus’s followers thought that he would lead them through their times of struggle as their king. On the other hand, Bill Cosby encompassed the role of the ideal father through his work on television and comedy. As Oedipus’s and Bill Cosby’s fame grew, they eventually attained an “untouchable”
From the beginning Oedipus was destined to fulfill a terrible prophecy, but through particular events that follow the steps of the Hero’s Journey, Oedipus becomes a powerful king of Thebes, only to be destroyed by the prophecy that should have ended his life as a child. The Hero’s Journey typically leads to self-confidence and power, however; the Hero’s Journey of Oedipus leads to his tragic demise. The Hero’s Journey lays out the steps of Oedipus’s future actions, which create suspense, fear, pity, and other emotions that captivates the audience. Similar to many famous stories, Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles in 430 B.C., follows the Hero’s Journey path, which is evident in Oedipus’s departure, initiation, and return.
It can be seen as a trend throughout history that stories reflect a society’s culture and values. One of the most memorable and inspirational civilization that made a substantial contribution to literature was Greece. Sophocles, a renowned Greek playwright, is beloved for his dramatic and action-filled plays that effectively satisfied the ancient audience. In Sophocles’ tragic play, Oedipus the King, the main character, Oedipus finds difficulty proclaiming his purpose against the fate bestowed upon him by the gods. Alongside his struggling, the values and cultural aspects of the Greeks emerge, reflecting their views on society during that time period at which the play was produced.
Oedipus is a hero, but he represents most men at the same time. He has human characteristics and feelings, such as his curiosity towards the knowledge Teiresias possesses and his horror when he realizes his horrible actions. “If you know something about our pain tell us…Speak then! Tell us what will emerge.” P.13 Oedipus questions Teiresias, curious to know what he knows. “Oh gruesomely clear it has all unraveled… I was bonded with the people I should have never killed.” P.40 Oedipus sees what he has done wrong and feels vulnerable and horror. The audience clearly sees that heroes are very human and how real their limitations. Most people would have felt that same vulnerability if the gods had made us their plaything and tormented us, writing a prophecy of our doom.
In the play King Oedipus, Sophocles depicts Oedipus’ inevitable downfall, which represents man’s struggle between free will and fate. In an attempt to use the audience’s knowledge to his advantage, Sophocles opens the play seventeen years after Oedipus murders his father, Laius and marries his mother, Jocasta. The sequence in which the story unravels reveals the strong psychological focus towards Oedipus’ character. In search of his identity, Oedipus’ enigmatic quality and moral ambiguity compels readers to question whether his ignorance renders him morally blameless. The vagueness about Oedipus’ intellectual state can be interpreted as unconscious knowledge, which may make him morally culpable. Guilty
In Sophocles' Oedipus the King, the themes of fate and agency are very strong throughout the play. Both sides of the argument can be greatly supported. The attributes of a person have either a positive or negative affect on the choices that they make. For Oedipus, his main attribute was the desire for knowledge and understanding about his own life. Because of this strong will and desire, this was Oedipus’ driving force in the play to lead him to the truth of his beginnings. His agency is based on his drive for knowledge.
In ancient Greek literature, diseases and afflictions often play key roles within the story. In Sophocles 's tragedy Oedipus Rex, the presence and recurrence of afflictions are central elements to the plot. Oedipus and his city both possess conditions that determine the outcome of the play. The motif of ailments, like the plague and blindness, highlight the hubris and failures of Oedipus to demonstrate his reliance on the gods.
Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, is really a story about the necessity of placing more faith in others and their counsel than in oneself and one’s own beliefs. Repeatedly the titular character is pleaded with to listen to and accept the advice of those around him and each time he refuses to obey. Ultimately, Oedipus’ tendency to do perform the actions he would prefer to do rather than to allow his family to help guide him leads to his downfall and loss of the throne.
Thesis:In Sophocles play ‘Oedipus the king’,Oedipus is an example of a tragic hero because he changed from a hero at the beginning of the play into a tragic hero by the end by experiencing power,tragic flow,downfall and death.Oedipus changes into a person no can believe of,because in the beginning he was a hero for the city of thebes by solving a riddle to defeat the monster that was killing and taking over thebes.
Throughout the tragedy of Oedipus the King, Oedipus displays his imperfectly noble being for all to see. While Oedipus had saved the Thebans from the Sphinx’s riddle, Oedipus’s nobel pride and anger lead to his destruction as he attempted to find Laios’s murderer. In his mistreatment of Teiresias, and his false allegations towards Creon being a usurper, Oedipus shows his imperfectly noble character as he foolishly attempts to fight fate and the gods will.
Critic Northrop Frye claims that tragic heroes “seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them…Conductors may of course be instruments as well as victims of the divisive lightning.” A perfect example of this assertion would be King Oedipus in the classical tragic play “Oedipus Rex,” written by Sophocles, where Oedipus, himself, becomes the victim of his doomed fate. As someone who was born and raised of royal blood, he becomes too proud and ignorant, believing that he was too powerful for his fate. Using the metaphor “great trees [are] more likely to be struck by lightning than a clump of grass,” Frye compares the heroic but unfortunate Oedipus to the great trees as they both are apt to experience victimization of tragic situations
Every character in stories or in plays has their flaws and strengths; Oedipus is no exception to this. Oedipus has his strengths and weaknesses that shape him into the character he is perceived to be in the play. He is intellectual which is why the city looks up to him, he is caring, and tenacious. Like any other character Oedipus also has his flaws, he jumps to conclusions and makes rash decisions, he has anger issues, and hubris which eventually leads to his downfall.
Could one's own act of pride and anger be the result of their downfall? Throughout the play Oedipus is seen as a great hero and savior to the people of Thebes however, we soon start to learn that Oedipus has a tragic flaw. Oedipus’s tragic flaw lies in his pride and anger which blinds and leads him to his demise.
Greek theatre was formed back in 500 BC by the Greek civilisation that used performing, miming and dancing as ways and means to tell stories, imitate others and for their rituals. They were two forms of plays that were showcased in the City of Dionysia; tragedy and satyr. The City of Dionysia was the festival celebrating the God Dionysus. Throughout this essay I will be describing the characteristics of Greek tragedy while using Sophocles’ ‘Oedipus the King’ as a reference.
Henry Rollins once stated, “Weakness is what brings ignorance, cruelty, and pride, all these things that will keep a society chained to the ground, one foot nailed to the floor.” In Sophocles play Oedipus Rex, Oedipus, the king of Thebes, weakness is his fate. Throughout the play, Oedipus is trying to outrun his fate because he feels the gods are subordinate to his powerful figure. Oedipus is seen as a god throughout Thebes because he defeated the mighty Sphinx, who was once haunting over the city. After defeating the Sphinx, Oedipus took over as king by killing his father and coupling his mother as his hubris blinded him from reality. Sophocles uses dramatic irony to show the ignorance of Oedipus Rex as he cannot see the truth. Oedipus cannot see the truth because his hubris is encouraged by the people and himself. Oedipus’ ignorance is also clearly displayed after an effort to save his city. Although Oedipus is a fictional character created thousands of years ago, his actions can easily connect to many people in today 's society. The theme conveyed in Sophocles play Oedipus Rex is hubris often results in one 's ignorance.