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Oedipus The King
Transcript of Oedipus The King
"An Absolute Ruler
Who Has Seized
By: Dillon Toramall
We read Greek tragedy to provoke catharsis and to relate our lives to the tragic hero presented. A tragic hero is a individual composed of the six traits of Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero.
1. Born of noble birth.
2. Sudden Realization
3. Punishment exceeds their crime
4. Provokes catharsis
5. Responsible for their own faith
6. Immense amount of pride (hubris)
What is Tyrannos?
The Greek word “Tyrannos” is an absolute ruler who has seized power, not inherited it. He is not a king, since a king succeeds to the throne by birthright; the tyrannos succeeds through intelligence, force and influence.
It is ironic as Oedipus was originally thought as Tyrannos as he solved the riddle of the Sphinx and took the place of King Lauis, as Oedipus underwent a peripetia when it was revealed that Laius was his father.
Who is the Main Character in the Play?
Oedipus shows that he has hubris by doubting the words of the prophet, making a stand such that he knows all that is happening. He takes no advice from the chorus as well and doesn't heed to what his wife/mother says towards the end of the play.
He also believes that just because he had saved Thebes before, he cannot be the reason Thebes is suffering right now at the hands of a plague.
Consequences of Tyrannos
One of the major themes in the play is the concept of Tyrannos. The consequences to obtaining power in the way Tyrannos does is that it causes dramatic change in a society. The one time where this type of take over is beneficial is when dramatic reform is needed. For Oedipus this happened to be the case. The city of Thebes was in great peril and needed a hero to set things right.
His positives however, compose of his confidence in himself, such that he wants to lead Thebes to a successful future, and he is a good man overall, who was blind to the truth and made himself pay for it.
The Chorus and It's Purpose
The purpose of the chorus in the play is to act as the citizens of Thebes. Not only are they the citizens in the play, but they act as the society and they're a hypothetical jury when Oedipus accuses Creon of trying to overthrow him.