|Oedipus: A Tragic Hero
Oedipus: A Tragic Hero
Oedipus Rex, or Oedipus the King is Sophocles’s first play of “The Theban Cycle.” It tells the story of a king that tries to escape his fate, but by doing so he only brings about his downfall. Oedipus is a classic example of the Aristotelian definition of a tragic hero. Aristotle defines a tragic hero as a basically good and noble person who causes his own downfall due to a flaw in his character.
Oedipus is a man of noble blood; his parents, who raised him as a child, were King Polybus and Queen Merope of Corinth. Oedipus also becomes a king himself when he solves the Sphinx’s riddle, thus saving Thebes and taking over the throne of the late King Laius. Oedipus then marries Jocasta, Laius’s widow, and they have children together. Though he is a very fair and understanding husband, Oedipus’s main concern is always the city of Thebes. When a plague strikes the city, Oedipus refused sleep until he finds the cause, ...