"Oedipus the King" as a tragedy by Sophocles.

Essay by NeRdYchikkHigh School, 12th gradeA+, November 2003

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"Oedipus the King" is a tragedy. A tragedy is defined as a dramatic or literary work in which the principal character engages in a morally significant struggle ending in ruin or profound disappointment. Sophocles uses many techniques to create the feelings of fear and pity in his readers. This in turn creates an excellent tragedy.

The play "Oedipus the King" by Sophocles, displays many qualities that make it an immense Greek tragedy. According to definition by Aristotle, "There are only five things that can describe a tragedy." The play has to have a tragic hero, preferably of noble stature. Second, the tragic hero must have a tragic flaw. Because of that flaw, the hero falls from either power or death. Due to the fall, the tragic hero discovers something. Finally, there must be catharsis in the minds of the audience. "Oedipus the King" fits all the characteristics as defined by Aristotle thus it is a tragedy.

The tragic hero of a play is a man of some social standing and personal reputation, but sufficiently like ourselves in terms of his weaknesses that we feel fear and pity when a tragic flaw, rather than an associate, causes his downfall. Oedipus is the tragic hero in this play for many reasons. Even though he does not know it, he fulfills the oracle's prophecy by killing his father, Laius, and then sleeping with his mother, Jocasta. His father was just a tragic mistake. Oedipus thought that the person he killed was just a random person that was harassing him.

Oedipus definitely has a tragic flaw; it is his quickness to take a position and stubborn adherence in spite of personal hazard. Oedipus makes decisions publicly for all to hear, making reconsideration difficult for a proud person such as himself. When Creon...