This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Oedipus & Medea Tragic Heroes Essay

2065 words - 9 pages

Aristotle a century after Sophocles wrote Oedipus The King and around the same time Euripides was writing Medea began to create his own ingredients to what makes a tragic hero. In Aristotle’s Poetics he writes what specifically makes a good tragedy and what must make up tragic hero. Firstly, one must experience catharsis which in Greek means, the releasing of emotion. The emotion that the tragic hero usually arouses in the audience is that of pity and fear. Secondly the tragic hero must be superior to his audience either through a special ability or social rank. Lastly the events to which have led to the tragic hero’s downfall has come from their own doing. In this paper I will explain ...view middle of the document...

Teiresias states “Just send me home. You bear your burdens, I’ll bear mine. It’s better that way, please believe me.” (Sophocles 401) Oedipus very persistently asks Teiresias what information he might have and Teiresias gives in by telling him that Oedipus himself is the one he is looking for. Tieiresias states “ Revealed at last, brother and father both to the children he embraces, to his mother son and husband both- he sowed the loins his father sowed, he spilled his father’s blood.” (Sophocles 405) Through this passage Teiresias reveals Oedipus killed his father and is now married to his mother. Appalled by these accusations Oedipus demands Teiresias be taken from his sight and Creon be summoned to assess his role in these false accusations. After a verbal battle between Creon and Oedipus Creon leaves and Oedipus tells her what the prophet has said. She comforts Oedipus by telling him that it is impossible the prophecy is true. “An oracle came to Laius one fine day and it said that doom would strike him down at the hands of as son, our son, to be born of our own flesh and blood. But Lauis, so the report goes at least, was killed by strangers, thieves, at a place where the roads meet… my son- he wasn’t three days old and the boy’s father fastened his ankles, had a henchman fling him away on a barren, trackless mountain.” (Sophocles 411) But hearing this made Oedipus think of a place where three roads met where he once killed a stranger for not letting him pass by. Jocasta tell him of one sole witness who watched Laius’ death survived and so Oedipus summons him for his version of the story. Oedipus begins to tell Jocasta his background before he arrived to Thebes. He tells her that an oracle told him he would kill his father and marry his mother thus he left his home to avoid this fate. But Oedipus fears that a stranger he came upon who he kills might have been Laius . The audience finds out through a messenger’s and shepard’s stories that Oedipus is the one who killed Laius and Jocasta is his real mother. Oedipus banishes himself and strikes out his eyes.

Oedipus was probably Aristotle’s ideal character he exhibited all the characteristics of a tragic hero. From the beginning of the Sophocles establishes Oedipus as someone better than the rest by the way he speaks to people in the city

“Oh my children, the new blood of ancient Thebes, why are you here? Huddling at my altar, praying before me, your branches wound in wool. Our city reeks with smoke of burning incense, rings with cries for the Healer and wailing for the dead. I though it wrong my children, to hear the truth from others messengers, Here I am myself- you all know me, the world knows my fame: I am Oedipus.” (Sophocles 392) By Oedipus referring to the common people of Thebes as children the reader gets as sense of a certain grandiose regard Oedipus has for himself as well as his god-like rank with people...

Other Papers Like Oedipus & Medea Tragic Heroes

Engl 102 Essay

1652 words - 7 pages Significant events among the Greek empire have developed a stimulating effect on English education around the globe. This has created a lasting effect on people and it’s uncommon to not have a familiarity with Greek tragedies. Most people do not take the time to think about the elements that make them tragedies or make the characters in them tragic heroes. In one of the “earliest surviving works of dramatic theory” of the ancient Greek

Hero To Zero Essay

1569 words - 7 pages the prophecy had in mind. Othello the Moor, a general, questions his wife, Desdemona, after an evil man manipulates his mind. Though both authors use irony and a tragic hero to move their audiences, Sophocles uses those elements to stress the role of fate, while Shakespeare uses them to demonstrate the importance of personal choice. Both Oedipus and Othello are tragic heroes, and the downfall of each moves the audience. Both heroes are blinded by

Oedipus Rex

753 words - 4 pages Oedipus from both Tiresias and Creon himself, both of who had Oedipus’s best interests at heart. Additionally, Oedipus’s pride, or hubris, was, as many tragic heroes before him, was his fatal flaw. When he heard the Oracle at Delphi’s prophecy for his fate, his first instinct was to fight it, leading him to flee Corinth in the hopes of avoiding the plight. Although this may be considered an appropriate, fearful response to such a horrific

Aristotle- Tragedy Essay

2048 words - 9 pages grasped that Sisyphus is the absurd hero...His scorn for the gods, his hatred of death, and his passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing.” All three heroes, Oedipus, King Lear and Sisyphus, show their weakness in their actions and characters, which leads to their downfalls. Even though Sisyphus was an absurd hero and Oedipus and King Lear were tragic heroes, they all share a

Analysis of Oedipus Trilogy

3871 words - 16 pages In dramatic literature throughout the ages, no greater force has existed to fell heroes, seal fates and carry out the means of Greco-Roman tragedy than that of irony. Sophocles’s three Theban plays: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antingone serve as an ideal mediums to illustrate three distinct and prevalent dramatic themes: that of dramatic, situational, and cosmic irony. All three types of irony are illustrated and epitomized in

Othello and Oedipus

763 words - 4 pages prophesied. Or the stress of deployments and battles that have built up an uncontrollable monster inside of one that would drive them to go to such extremes. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a powerful force, as is the stress that one’s own mind can put on their actions. These forces proved to be too powerful for both of these tragic heroes, which in the end made such a wonderful tragic plays. Bibliography Shakespeare, W. (n.d.). Othello, the Moor of Venice. Sophocles. (2013). Oedipus the King. In T. b. Fitzgerald, Literature An Introduction to fiction, Poetry, Drama and writing (12th ed., p. 1207). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.


989 words - 4 pages Euripides Nathaniel Wiafe Euripides, an impressive ancient Greek tragic playwright; most skillful intends of playing writing. Consequentially he became a stage philosopher. Euripides was born on 485ca in salamis. He is characterized as a powerful influence in the living. He was the last of the three great tragedians of classical Athens, the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles as his two rivals. Ancient scholars thought that

Ancient Greek Heroes vs. Modern Heroes

1879 words - 8 pages Name Course Tutor Date Ancient Greek Heroes vs. Modern Heroes Introduction The word hero brings to mind different things to different people, since people tend to have different concepts of heroism. This is particularly the case with regard to the concept of heroes in ancient and modern societies. As times have changed, the definition of heroes has also changed, in keeping with the changes in the modern society. However, ancient and

Comparison of Oedipus Rex and a Raisin in the Sun

1883 words - 8 pages nothing and would come to grief. Achilles, Priam, Agamemnon, Oedipus, all came to grief. In the Greco-Roman tradition, it seems to be a common practice by the Bards and playwrights, to depict their heroes as strong and upright men who fell prey to either their fates or to the whims and fancies of jealous gods (the plight Medusa & Cassandra). It appears the Greeks and the Romans looked to tragic plays as a sort of vent for their pent up emotions. Not

Blindness In King Lear And Oedipus

957 words - 4 pages Shakespears great tragic pieces, it is not only seen as a tragedy in itself, but also a play that includes two tragic heroes and four villains. I felt that a tragic hero must not be all good or all bad, but just by misfortune he is deprived of something very valuable to him by error of judgment.We must be able to identify ourselves with the tragic hero if he is to inspire fear, for we must feel that what happens to him could happen to us. If Lear was

Edgar Allen Poe

1677 words - 7 pages sheltered childhood and teenage years, his life seemed to be caught up in failures. So, he did what most people do. He found a way to escape. His method was writing. He found so much in common with his characters, that his life began to emulate theirs. Although it is probably the other way around.How tragic that the one thing that he was good at never seemed to do him any good. No matter what he wrote, he just kept sinking further and further into

Related Essays

Medea " One Wicked Woman" Essay

931 words - 4 pages best of her, like all good tragic heroes do. Because of that she made the wrong decisions. Her tragic flaw to me was her eager for revenge. It cost her lives of her children, which was the most selfish thing a mother could do or even a woman. Like Medea any woman would be terribly hurt but not every woman would take it as far as she did. I know that I wouldn’t let a man leaving, turn me into a cold hearted person or turn me into a murderer. I

Similarities Between Tragic Heroes Essay

651 words - 3 pages Similarities between Tragic Heroes ​In tragedies, tragic heroes do not seem to be that much changed even though the date differs. Tragic heroes resemble each other in characteristics to lead to downfall of the hero. There are two main similarities between tragic heroes of the plays, Macbeth and Oedipus the King. In these plays, to stage a downfall of the heroes, the heroes are equipped with blindness and flaws. As to other similarities between

Philosophy Essay

4531 words - 19 pages Hamartia in Oedipus the King According to the Aristotelian characteristics of good tragedy, the tragic character should not fall due to either excessive virtue or excessive wickedness, but due to what Aristotle called hamartia. Hamartia may be interpreted as either a flaw in character or an error in judgement. Oedipus, the tragic character in Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, certainly makes several such mistakes; however, the pervasive pattern

Comparing Essay

1040 words - 5 pages is not always easy to come by for a leader when talking about the people. Without respect from their society neither of them would have been King or at least very difficult to be one. Othello and Oedipus were similar characters in that they were both tragic heroes. For example, when Oedipus blinded himself, this, self-inflicted punishment, in my opinion, was seen as a much greater punishment than what he deserved. The fact that he caused his