Oedipus is many-sided and subtly complicated character, yet he has a wonderful consistency. He does possess faults, and he makes mistakes but he is a good man after all. Oedipus is the man of decisive actions which shows us his courage and authority. He does not like the fact he is still alive because if he died, how his parents wanted to, his father would be alive and his mother would not marry her own son. He cries: “I might have died then and there; but now I am a source of grief for myself and all who love me.” Nevertheless, there is still a slight modest kind of desire that destined him to live. His hope is evident as he says: “I am in the dark, but I can distinguish your voice clearly.” Oedipus realizes that he has control of his ears and even though he is blind, he can hear.
A tragic hero by Aristotle definition is a good man falling from happiness to misfortune. Chorus is helping to remain the audience about his past and present in the moment Oedipus finds out about his origin. They say: “Oedipus won complete prosperity and happiness. He destroyed the Sphinx, and rose up like a towered wall against death, Oedipus, savior of our city… And now- is there a man whose story is more pitiful?” One can distinguish that Oedipus’ present and past were greatly different. There is still something he would never give up; his city of Thebes: “The sorrows of my people here mean more to me than any fear I may have for my own life.” This statement proves that Oedipus truly cares and loves his own city. Oedipus is no ordinary man: a man who, starting with nothing but through his energy and activity, has become beloved ruler of his city. As the Aristotle definition says a tragic hero must fall from happiness to misfortune, Oedipus is a perfect example.
Furthermore a tragic hero is described as a person of some importance, from a highly renowned and prosperous place. “I am in power here.” Oedipus is the king of Thebes. He is renowned for his intelligence and he was made its king by solving the riddle of the Sphinx. “I shall be the defender of Thebes, and Apollo’s champion, too.” When the citizens of Thebes beg their king to do something about the plague, Oedipus has already sent Creon to the oracle at Delphi for advice. The term "catharsis" from Aristotle’s definition of tragic hero means the purging or cleansing of pity and fear from the spectators as they watch the play on stage. In this way tragedy relieves them of harmful emotions, leaving them better people for their experience. “Even his enemies would pity,” said the messenger. Because he remains a virtues man his punishment is not defeated. He himself believed: ”I am the victim of some harsh divinity; what other explanation can there be?” Oedipus, as every other man, deserves a free will, and by stabbing his eyes he reminds a sacrifice for all the people in Thebes.
Sophocles tragedy Oedipus the King demonstrates an image of man’s heroism when faced with defeat. According to Aristotle's theory of tragedy and his definition of the central character, Oedipus the hero of Sophocles is considered a classical model of the tragic hero.
Man is not equated to the gods, but man can accomplish what gods are not able to do: he can be known as a virtuous hero because he was dealt misfortune and stood firm.
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