Student: Rana Umar Riaz
Instructor: Dr. Naveed
Research essay on the topic of “Oedipus the
king is a tragic hero”
great Greek philosopher Aristotle laid the foundation of Tragedy in his book
“Poetics”. He also introduced the term ” catharsis” .Now the question arise
here what is tragedy? “Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is serious,
complete. And of a certain magnitude: in language embellished with each kind of
artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play:
in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the
proper purgation of these emotions.” (Aristotle)
is the main character of the drama, who was a great king with ideal traits and
an ideal personality also, but he is but he is a tragic hero because he had
great flaws in his personality. that makes us to experience catharses. here the
question arises what is catharses?” Catharses means emotional
discharge through which one can achieve a state of moral or spiritual renewal,
or achieve a state of liberation from anxiety and stress. Catharsis is a Greek word meaning
“cleansing.” In literature, it is
used for the cleansing of emotions of the characters” (according to
We experience catharses in the end of the drama > According to
“Poetics” a tragidic hero is that who had a great social and political respect
a person who is not noble and is criminal cant be a tragic hero . Aristotle
also introduced an other Greek term “hamarita” which means tragdic flaw
Oedipus is the main character of the play who wants to deny his fate and
want to change his fate, but he failed to do so. Oedipus rex this play revolves
around the role of fate in the life of Oedipus. Oedipus was a good and a kind king.
the fate plays an important role in his life since his birth. Oedipus`s parents
comes to know that their son will kill his father and will marry her mother. So,
they give her child to a Shepard to leave him in the forest so that any animal
can eat and kill him they crossed a nail in his foot ao that he can’t save himself.
Oedipus means nail in foot. in this way this play is named as Oedipus rex. However,
he was saved by another Shepard. he took him and sold him to another man. When
he Oedipus comes to know that he will kill his father he ran from that place.
On the way he killed an old man and at the mean time a trouble maker creature
sphinx comes there and gave a riddle to solve. Oedipus was succeeded to solve
that riddle .in this way he saved the land of Thebes. The king of Thebes had
died he married the queen Of Thebes “Jocasta”. He had children from Jocasta.
later own a disease comes In Thebes people of all age were being killed by that
As Oedipus had saved the people of Thebes from the Sphinx they gathered
for help from Oedipus to do some thing for them and save them from this
trouble.So he address them in a great way “Oh my poor children !”
He addresses in this way
Poor children! You may
by sure i know
All that you longed for in your coming here.
I know that you are deathly sick; and yet.
Sick as you are, not one is as sick as i.
Each of you suffers in himself alone”(12-17)
Oedipus the king said that he had already send Creon to
get some help from Apollo (Prophet). He then says that they are not alone . He
can feel their pain . Oedipus the king was respected as a father and he treats
his people as his own children . Oedipus was so much self pride he thinks that
he can’t do something wrong and he is also shown short tempard . No doubt
Oedipus was a wise man but in short temper sometimes he do such a stupid things
that were wrong for him .
Creon, my familiar friend,
Hath lain in wait to oust me and suborned
This mountebank, this juggling charlatan,
This tricksy beggar-priest, for gain alone
Keen-eyed, but in his proper art stone-blind.
Say, sirrah, hast thou ever proved thyself
A prophet? When the riddling Sphinx was here
Why hadst thou no deliverance for this folk?
And yet the riddle was not to be solved
By guess-work but required the prophet’s art
In these lines we can see that how rude man he is he blames Creon who is the brother of Jocasta
that he wants Oedipus`s power and wealth that`s why he is blaming him . But
Creon said him that he is loyal to him and he don’t need his power and wealth ,
he is as popular in people as Oedipus is , people also respect him and people
takes his help to approach the king .
And when the Prophet came there and
said Oedipus that you are impurity on this land . Oedipus start arguing him
that he is not the prophet he is saying what ever Creon had said him to say and
he is a lair
When Teiresias reveales the truth to Oedipus
got hyper and lost his temper and show excessive pride
These are the lines by which
tresious provoked the truth to the Oedipus.
“Of the children, inmates of his home,
He shall be proved the brother and the sire,
Of her who bare him son and husband both,
Co-partner, and assassin of his sire.”
In these line Teiresias says thatOedipus is
the father as well as the brother of his children and both son and husband to
her mother . In his pride that he cant do any mistake he gets discovering the