Tragic Flaws In Oedipus Rex

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In Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, he explores many avenues of Greek tragedy, and as such, it has been hailed as one of the greatest Greek tragedies. It explores the mainstays of a tragedy, including the ‘tragic hero’, who is doomed to fail as a result of his tragic flaw, that, while not necessarily evident throughout the play, is meant to serve as a warning to the audience so that they don’t suffer a similar (though markedly less dramatic) end. I will explore some of these subjects, as they pertain to Oedipus Rex, in order to better define them and give context to how they are used. The point of these plays is to teach the audience an important lesson so that they, as a society, can be much better collectively. The importance of Oedipus Rex, was perhaps…show more content…
This backstory almost always displays the tragic flaw / hamartia that the hero suffers. A Tragic Flaw, strictly speaking, is one or more character flaws (also known as hamartia) that lead to this character’s demise. It must be noted, however, that the flaw only seems to put this character into the hands of fate, and it is ultimately fate that sends them over the edge of despair. This backstory, which gets people to relate to the character also helps them to see this flaw and notice it in themselves and others, so that they may save themselves from it. In Oedipus’ case, the tragic flaw is that of hubris, or being too confident in one’s own abilities. Sophocles believes that this is at the peak of human flaws, as the predominant group of the time, Humanists, believed that humans were ingenious and walking among the gods. Sophocles decided to counter this by showing just how dangerous this kind of thinking can be, and what kind of detrimental side effects it can have on not only the perpetrator, but those around them as well. This flaw leads Oedipus to abandon his own self-control and find out more than was beneficial to him. It is shown to be a poor character trait throughout the play as he is first arrogant in the face of the oracle, Tiresias, causing himself to…show more content…
All of these components combine to allow the audience to recognize, relate to, and rebuff hubris in their lives, or at least be aware of when it gets out of hand. This combination of emotional release and learning a valuable lesson make Greek tragedies more than a way to entertain themselves, but also a way to better themselves as a

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