Tragic Hero In Oedipus The King Essay

Someone can go from having everything to nothing, in a blink of an eye. Having everything that was needed and desired to having nothing can really change the way people act and function. In this world there are two types of people, people that have to work for their necessities and people that just get handed what they want. But what happens when it all gets taken away from one mistake? A tragic hero is a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy that is destined for downfall.

In the play Oedipus the King, written by Sophacles, the main character is a tragic hero by displaying error in judgement, excessive pride, and reversal of fortune. Oedipus Rex displays an error in judgement by escaping the Corinth prophecy, believing that Teiresias is lying about the prophecy, and also believing that Creon is only there to doom him. By escaping the Corinth prophecy Oedipus still kills his father, Polybus, by being alive. The Prophecy was true. That’s why Oedipus was sent away at only two days old to be left alone on top of a mountain so he could die and Polybus remain king.

Teirsias comes to Oedipus and tries to explain that the prophecy is still true and tries to get it out of him, that he is his father’s murderer. Oedipus states “Old man, I did not wish to kill my father” kind of realizng that the prophechy was true. Oedipus killed his Father. Oedipus dislikes Creon very much because he thinks that Creon is trying to do everything to get him killed or banished so he can become king. Creon is Jocostas Brother and Oedipus is now Jocastas Husband/son. Excessive judgement is also a reason why Oedipus is a tragic hero.

Oedipus shows excessive pride by having strong judgement that he is not the “murderer’, doesn’t trust in an old wise prophet, Teiresisas, and is free because he escaped death by being banished. Oedipus always pointed fingers by saying burglars killed his father. He never came out and truthfully said that he killed his father it always had to be someone else, not him. Teiresisas always knew the truth and wouldn’t stop trying to get it out of Oedipus. Thinking that he was free from the Corinth prophecy due to banishment, Oedipus had no worries. Being banished from the village was not a bad thing to Oedipus Rex.

From being able to see to being blind, to being one of the most important people in your village to being no one, and from having an amazing family to having a disgrace of a family was a reversal of fortune for Oedipus Rex. Teiresias puts a curse on Oedipus for lying about being the murderer. The curse is that one day Oedipus will see something frightening and rip out his eyes, which happens when he sees what Jocasta did to kill herself. Being a king for the right reasons is a great thing but being a king and having secrets is not a good thing.

Oedipus went from being king to not being anyone and being banished. As soon as Oedipus finds out whats really going on in his family, like having kids with his mother, he is very disappointed and puts himself and his family down. Imagine you not just knowing but your whole town, how embarasing. Having all these difficulities and challenges in the play was always confusing but made up to be a very interesting and powerful play to read. Error in judgement, excessive pride, and reversal of fortune are some points that show how Oedipus Rex is a tragic hero in the play by Sophacles.