The Five Stages Of A Tragic Hero And Oedipus' Going Through Them

619 words - 3 pages

The True Tragic HeroIn Sophocles' play Oedipus Rex, every reader is riding a roller coaster of his life. Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero is one person who goes through five stages which in Sophocles' play the main character Oedipus does. The five stages that he goes through are pre-eminence, flaw, fall, gaining of insight, and rise.Pre-eminent is one who surpasses all the others or should be looked up to. Oedipus at the beginning of the play starts of with the priest saying, "O Great Oedipus, O powerful King of Thebes"(1223)! Right from the start he is being praised to as a god would be praised. The priest continues to say, "Therefore, O mighty King, we turn to you: Find us our safety, find us a remedy, Whether ...view middle of the document...

.."(1223). Oedipus is ignorant to his own big head blowing up higher and higher. "Is this your prayer? It may be answered. Come, Listen to me, act as the crisis demands, And you shall have relief from all these evils"(1228). He is believing that the people are praying to him forget the gods he is the one that is to be prayed too.The third and most interesting stage, the downfall of the hero. The loss of Oedipus' power, prosperity, mind, and status. When Oedipus finds the truth he says, "It was true! All the prophecies!...I, Oedipus, damned in birth, in his marriage damned, Damned in the blood he shed with his own hand"(1252)! All the denial and now Oedipus is unable to deny any longer with all the facts presented to him. "For the King ripped from her gown the golden brooches That were ornament, and raised them, and plunged them down Straight into his own eyeballs..."(1255). When Oedipus is so overwhelmed he goes and takes his sight.The fourth stage Oedipus goes through is the gaining of insight or to gain an accurate and intuitive understanding of his life. "He brought my sick, sick fate upon me. But the blinding hand was my own! How could I bear to see When all my sight was horror everywhere"(1257). He knows what he did and want to get as far away from it as possible. "Lead me away from Thebes. Lead the great wreak And hell of Oedipus, whom the gods hate"(1257). He has gone from O mighty king to a great wreak without a chance.The final stage is rise however, he only has the potential to rise but the readers are not able to see it in this play. Oedipus says, " You need not fear to touch me. Of all men, I alone can bear this guilt"(1259). He begins to take all of the blame but will it continue or not?

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