Monday, April 25, 2011

Oedipus

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Oedipus

Fate is something that affects people of all kinds. Even tragic heroes have to deal with fate. Is someone capable of escaping his or her fate and can still be considered as a tragic hero? It may not be easy to defy the gods, but it can be done. In Oedipus the King, the main character, Oedipus, runs away from his destiny and becomes a tragic hero.

The first requirement to a tragic hero is that he or she must pass from happiness to misery. Oedipus perfect family life is ruined when he learns of his past. A perfect family brings happiness and love. When not having a god family, it can affect a person emotionally. However, a good reputation brings happiness. Oedipus looses his reputation because of his past. This ruined reputation brings misery to Oedipus. Finally, respect is important to bringing happiness. Oedipus becomes miserable when all respect is lost for him. All respect is lost for him because of his past. These are all qualifications of happiness to misery of a tragic hero.

Next, a tragic hero must have a downfall because of his or her tragic flaw. Oedipus makes the mistake of having bad judgment. Oedipus forces Tiresias to talk. Tiresias tells Oedipus that he is the killer of Lauis, bringing on Oedipus curse. In addition, Oedipus also makes an error in judgment when sending for the Shepard. The Shepard holds the truth to Oedipus past. The Shepards story could determine the fate of Oedipus. Finally, Oedipus makes a third error in judgment by forcing the Shepard to talk. The Shepard ruins Oedipus life when telling the truth of his past. If he would not have done this Oedipus could still live a happy life. These are all results of Oedipus tragic flaw leading to his downfall.

Another quality a tragic hero must have is that he or she must not be perfectly virtuous and just. Oedipus is not virtuous when he shares his bed with his own mother. Sleeping with ones own mother is very wrong in terms of religion. This causes Oedipus to loose all of his respect from others. Besides sleeping with his own mother, Oedipus kills his father. By killing his father Oedipus helps bring along the curse he set upon himself. This also brings shame to his family. Lastly, Oedipus defies the gods. Oedipus defies the gods by running away from his destiny. Oedipus suffers deeply for this defiance against the gods. These are all non-virtuous and non-just actions that make Oedipus a tragic hero.

Oedipus is the tragic hero in the play Oedipus the King. Oedipus passes from happiness to misery because of his past. The tragic flaw of Oedipus leads to his tragic downfall. Oedipus sleeping with his own mother is non virtuous. These are all qualifications to a tragic hero. Oedipus is a tragic hero.




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