Tragedy In Oedipus Rex


The Greek drama Oedipus Rex is clearly a tragedy. It definitely meets
the five main criteria for a tragedy: a tragic hero of noble birth, a
tragic flaw, a fall from grace, a moment of remorse, and catharsis.
Oedipus Rex clearly meets the first of these five criteria. Oedipus is
the son of Laius, who was king of Thebes. Even at the beginning of the
story, when we are told that Oedipus is the son of Polybus, he is still of
noble birth; Polybus is king of Corinth.
The tragic flaw, or mistake that a character makes, in Oedipus Rex does
not actually take place during the story. We only watch as Oedipus and the
rest of the characters discover this mistake that was actually made long,
long ago ...

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rather quickly, very close to the end of the play.
The audience sees this coming long before it actually does, however. In
one of the passages of Oedipus speaking with Jocasta, just about
everything is spelled out for us. Jocasta speaks of Laius leaving the
castle with just a few servants and his being killed where three roads
meet. Oedipus claims that he killed somebody where three roads met, who
had a few servants with him. As though this isn't enough, Jocasta describes
Laius to Oedipus by saying "his figure was not much unlike your own" (p.
27). Oedipus, after hearing all this, says "O, it is plain already!" (p.
27) indicating that he was the killer of his father. He goes on to make
absolutely sure, even though it is obvious that he was Lauis's killer.
The moment of remorse comes at the end of the story, when one of the
servants who had accompanied Laius on his final journey came to speak to
Oedipus. He was the only one who survived the attack, and told that
contrary ...

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Added: 6/12/2004 08:17:37 AM
Category: Arts
Words: 575
Pages: 3

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