King oedipus tragic hero essay

For, if it is true to say that in essence the tragic hero is intent upon claiming his whole due as a personality, and if this struggle must be total and without reservation, then it automatically demonstrates the indestructible will of man to achieve his humanity. The possibility of victory must be there in tragedy. Where pathos rules, where pathos is finally derived, a character has fought a battle he could not possibly have won. The pathetic is achieved when the protagonist is, by virtue of his witlessness, his insensitivity or the very air he gives off, incapable of grappling with a much superior force. Pathos truly is the mode for the pessimist. But tragedy requires a nicer balance between what is possible and what is impossible. And it is curious, although edifying, that the plays we revere, century after century, are the tragedies. In them, and in them alone, lies the belief--optimistic, if you will, in the perfectibility of man. It is time, I think, that we who are without kings, took up this bright thread of our history and followed it to the only place it can possible lead in our time--the heart and spirit of the average man.

Willy's false conviction that you do not have to study, work hard, or know things because success is all a matter of having friends and a winning personality derails his sons's futures, as does his recklessness in having an affair, which, unbeknownst to him, disillusions his son Biff profoundly. This blindness to reality also hurts his wife, who has to live from paycheck to paycheck as they buy goods on credit while awaiting the big success that never comes. She also worries about her husband's increasing divorce from reality. In the end, Willy's only chance to help his family is suicide.

The moment of epiphany comes late in the play. At the beginning of Scene III, Oedipus is still waiting for the servant to be brought into the city, when a messenger arrives from Corinth to declare that King Polybus of Corinth is dead. Oedipus, when he hears this news, feels much relieved, because he believed that Polybus was the father whom the oracle had destined him to murder, and he momentarily believes himself to have escaped fate. He tells this all to the present company, including the messenger, but the messenger knows that it is not true. He is the man who found Oedipus as a baby in the pass of Cithaeron and gave him to King Polybus to raise. He reveals, furthermore that the servant who is being brought to the city as they speak is the very same man who took Oedipus up into the mountains as a baby. Jocasta realizes now all that has happened. She begs Oedipus not to pursue the matter further. He refuses, and she withdraws into the palace as the servant is arriving. The old man arrives, and it is clear at once that he knows everything. At the behest of Oedipus, he tells it all.

The play begins with an idiosyncratic juxtaposition: a chorus of children, against the Chorus of the play itself, comprised of old men from Thebes. This contradiction is later played out in the character of Teiresias, an old man (partially male and partially female in myth) led by a young boy. This immediately raises questions of past and future. These questions are especially important, considering that Sophocles’ deliberately begins his play approximately half-way through the Oedipus myth (see ‘The Oedipus Myth’). One of the ways in which of Oedipus’ unknown past is revealed to shape his future involves a continuation of his tragic lineage - his children turn out to be, in bizarre, self-consuming fashion, the same generation as him.

King oedipus tragic hero essay

king oedipus tragic hero essay

The play begins with an idiosyncratic juxtaposition: a chorus of children, against the Chorus of the play itself, comprised of old men from Thebes. This contradiction is later played out in the character of Teiresias, an old man (partially male and partially female in myth) led by a young boy. This immediately raises questions of past and future. These questions are especially important, considering that Sophocles’ deliberately begins his play approximately half-way through the Oedipus myth (see ‘The Oedipus Myth’). One of the ways in which of Oedipus’ unknown past is revealed to shape his future involves a continuation of his tragic lineage - his children turn out to be, in bizarre, self-consuming fashion, the same generation as him.

Media:

king oedipus tragic hero essayking oedipus tragic hero essayking oedipus tragic hero essayking oedipus tragic hero essay