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Tragedy and the Tragic Hero

Oedipus
by

Peter Lung

on 11 October 2012

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Transcript of Tragedy and the Tragic Hero

Tragedy & & Tragic Hero Kithairon “This day will give you a father, and break your heart” (I, 222) “How, when you were, you served your own destruction.” (Exodos, 291) “Death will not ever come to me through sickness Or in any natural way: I have been preserved For some unthinkable fate.” (Exodos, 227-230) Fate “Poor children! You may be 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, no one is as sick as I. Each of you suffers in
himself alone his anguish, not another’s, but my spirit groans for the city, for myself, for you”
(Prologue, 60-66) “Ah! It was true! All the prophecies! Now, O light, may I look on you for the last time!! I
Oedipus, Oedipus, damned in his birth, in his marriage damned, damned in the blood he shed
with his own hand!” (IV, 68-74) “My poor daughters, who have shared my table, who never before been parted from their
father, take care of them, Kreon; do this for me. And will you let me touch them with my hands
a last time, and let us weep together? Be kind, my lord, Great prince, be kind! Could I but touch
them, they would be mine again, as when I had my eyes” (Exodos, 133-135) Pathos “You planned it, you had done it, you all but Killed him with your own hands:
if you had eyes, I’d say the crime was yours, and yours alone” (I, 128-130) “Could I have told that you’d talk nonsense, that You’d come here to make a
fool of yourself, and of me?” (I, 218-219) “For God’s love, let us have no more questioning! Is your life worth nothing to
you? My own pain is enough to bear” (III, 138-140) Flaws of Oedipus “You advised me to send for that wizard, did you not?”(II, 43-44) “That his doom would be death at the hands of his own son-his son, born of his flesh
and out of mine” (II, 188-190) “Go, one of you, and bring the Sheppard here. Let us leave this woman to brag of
her royal name” (III, 148-150) Contribution of others to Downfall “As one who became citizen after the murder, I make this proclamation to all
Thebans. If any man knows knows by whose hand Laios, son of Labdakos,
met his death, I dicrect that man to tell me everything, No matter what he
fears for having so long withheld it. Let it stand as promised that no further
trouble will come to him and that he may leave the land”
(I, 8-14) “For the king ripped from her gown the golden brooches
That were her ornament, and raised them, and plunged
them down
Straight into his own eyeballs, crying, “No more, No more
Shall you look on the misery about me, the horrors of my
own doing! Too long have you known
The faces of those whom I should never have seen
Too long been blind to those for whom I was searching!
From this hour, go in darkness!”” (Exodos, 43-50) "This is the king who solved the famous riddle
And towered up, most powerful of men.
No mortal eyes but looked on him with envy,
Yet in the end ruin swept over him.

Let every man in mankind's frailty
Consider his last day; and let none
Presume on his good fortune until he find
Life, at his death, a memory without pain." (Exodos, 293-300) Ultimate Sacrifice is the relation of audience to character through feeling of pity or compassion
the main character is a good person
we see the worst of the character
tragic flaw brings downfall
the characters redeeming traits are seen again Oedipus is impatient and quick to judge others
He is blind to anything that does not conform to his own view
His need for knowledge of himself causes his downfall Tieresias tells Oedipus the truth in an inflammatory way that causes Oedipus to Kreon and Tiersias' message
Iokaste's attempt to protect Oedipus only causes him to become more determined Oedipus follows his own declaration and fulfills his duty to the people of Thebes
He ensures that his children are looked after and is ready for the Will of the Gods
Oedipus the man most envied is now pitied; it shows how nothing in life is certain
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