King Oedipus can be taken as a typical hero of a classic narrative, or as the undesirable antagonist. Sophocles, being one of the first philosophers to theorize the art of drama, interprets his studies of the ancient arts upon Oedipus and the plays background. In Aristotle’s conception, a tragic hero is a distinguished person occupying a high position, living in a specific set of circumstances and falling into misfortune because of an error in character.
Aristotle even used the word “hamartia” to indicate the protagonist’s weakness (Quote). Sophocles believed that a hero would be a man of noticeable qualities such as intelligence and power, but by no means perfect. The fall of a totally saint-like figure or the rise of a totally depraved villain would violate the expectation of the audience which would lead to an unsatisfactory play.
It is because of this why Oedipus is both a saint and a rogue. Despite his qualities, he falls because of his mistakes. His position is as frail as ours, and he fails like common men in one sense, and such failure of human position is what a tragedy has to make us realize. (thesis) Oedipus is a character of a morally good personality, to a great extent. He tries to avo5id his unbearable fate that he hears of. One can see that Oedipus is not only too confident in his own analysis and understanding of reality, he is also always afraid of doing wrong, His first priority is always quest for the truth and the welfare of the people.
He surrenders to the power of fate at the end. (Quote). He is respectful towards the oracles, in the sense that he has been afraid of what they have told him, and he does respect Teiresias before he is insulted by the so called false charges made against him. Oedipus has his typical tragic flaw or “hamartia”.
He is too proud and arrogant, and assumes too much about his own understanding of his life. As we do learn, Oedipus can’t control his fate and what will go along with it. He has a bad temper and wrong judgment. Oedipus wrongly judges his situations with the effect of his actions.
It may be debatable as to whether the murder of a life-threatening stranger and the marriage of a relative are crimes. But, due to his presumption about his abilities, he tries to disobey his foretold destiny by moving away from what he thinks are his birth parents. (Quote).
Therefore, one can conclude that Oedipus’s tragic flaw will always remain; His constant fight to remain indifferent will simply not work. On the other hand, however, it seems that Oedipus could have avoided his predetermined fate if he had taken certain precautions. If he could promise of never assaulting a man or marrying an older woman, he would have done better. It can be concluded that Oedipus falls because he will always remain blind. In any case, he is a tragic character because he is humanly frail, morally intermediate, and good, but not unflawed by a tragic weakness, and therefore identifiable to us and our own inescapable human condition even today. (Quote) Sophocles tragic character Oedipus is a unique tragic character that is merely caught between his human life and reality. His life embodies the paradox of his situation as no matter how hard he tries, he cannot change his foretold destiny Oedipus can be seemed more as a hero of the tragic play due to his prosperity, his imbedded tragic flaw, and his vulnerability to his fate, even though he tries to avoid such circumstances through his morals.
The irony of the play is that fate has already done its job from the beginning by doing what it wanted to before Oedipus started to realize what would truly happen. The tragedy of Oedipus is that of the realization of his failure making him seem as the criminal while the heroic side of Oedipus is him saving the city while still harming himself. The story of Oedipus the King tells us one must do his best, but even if he does not succeed, he cannot overcome what was predetermined.