Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King

dicuss oedipus as a tragic hero?

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The Tragic Hero in "Oedipus Rex"

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That totally depends on your definition of "tragic hero". The definition of tragic heroes and of tragedy itself is a hugely contentious issue about which very few scholars agree - and so, of course, you have to define your terms before you can even begin to answer this question.

If you go by Aristotle's "Poetics" (the most famous text written about Greek tragedy), Oedipus (in Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex") is given as an exemplar of the tragic hero. He is a man of high standing socially (King of Thebes), intellectually (he is the great solver of riddles) and morally (he is determined to find the murderer and end the plague on his people).

Throughout the play his quest to find the murderer described by the Oracle is made with the best possible intentions: only Oedipus is a man who has made a mistake ("mistake" is the best translation of "hamartia" which is often misunderstood as meaning a personal "tragic flaw" - not what Aristotle wrote or intended). Is Oedipus' mistake to be too fervent in the pursuit of truth, thereby revealing what (as Teiresias says) would be best left covered? Or is it to act too rashly towards an old man at a crossroads?

One interesting way to think about tragic heroes in Sophocles is by using an adjective Sophocles applies to all of them: "deinos" meaning both wonderful and terrible. For Oedipus, it might just be his virtue that brings him crashing down.