It is important for students to understand that while Sophocles wrote the play, Oedipus the King, he did not invent the story of Oedipus. Oedipus Rex was a tragic hero from Greek mythology. Homer wrote about Oedipus, as did many storytellers of Greek mythology. Sophocles was a playwright who created hundreds of plays for the Greek theater. Oedipus the King was his dramatic rendition of the already famous story of Oedipus.
OEDIPUS REX AS A TRAGIC HERO The Greek play, Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, is clearly a tragedy. Many things can be described as a catastrophe. However, according to the definition of a tragedy by Aristotle, there are five main criteria. First, 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 grace, power, or death. Due to the fall, the tragic hero will discover something and have a moment of remorse. Finally, there must be catharsis in the minds of the audience. Oedipus clearly meets all of these five criteria, therefore, making him a classic tragic hero. To begin with, Oedipus the King is the ruler of Thebes. He was destined to sleep with his mother and kill his father.
How is Oedipus in "Oedipus Rex" a tragic hero? | eNotes
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