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Interpretive Writing, Oedipus the King

Through out history there have been some astonishing Greek playwrights. Some playwright were comedy, romance and there were some tragic playwrights. One of the fascinating Greek tragedy playwrights was Oedipus the King. Oedipus Rex qualifies as a tragedy based play because it meets the criteria of being a tragedy because it meets Aristotle s definition of a Greek playwright. This essay will analyze how the play of Oedipus the King, is a tragedy play based upon Aristotle s definition of a Greek tragedy playwright. There are a few definitions of Aristotle s meaning of a Greek tragedy playwright.

One meaning of Aristotle s definition of a play is that a hero is a downfall in social status and behavior. These down falls of the hero, Oedipus; can be seen because, he becomes a king and slowly becomes careless of his actions. His carelessness leads him to disrespect some people and is losing power over some subjects of the kingdom. One downfall of the character is that he married his mother and kills his father, the king before him. By the killing he did he puts the kingdom in terror. My support of the downfall is And I refuse to link my utterance with a downfall such as yours. , page 36. This was said by a prophet to Oedipus. The prophet s name was Tiresias.

An other definition of Aristotle s meaning of a tragedy is, a character who has heroic traits. Oedipus showed some heroic unique, essence of being a hero by defeating a monster that asked riddles. This monster ask riddles so you she to let you pass through an entrance. The name of the monster is the Sphinx. Oedipus defeated the Sphinx at the entrance to the kingdom. When he solved the riddle, the Sphinx plunged to her own lifeless death. Another heroic trait of Oedipus is that he had taken over a kingdom that had a downward spiral story of the history of the kingdom. He made the kingdom in shape and started making some accomplishments out of it. Some proof of this comes from the book on page 38, Or why when the she-dog Sphinx of riddles rang But I, the Oedipus who stumbled here without a hint, could snuff her out by human wit.

One other definition of a tragic play, according to Aristotle is, the hero has tragic flaws. This character, Oedipus showed some tragic flaws by showing he was kind of dense in the head, meaning he couldn t understand the problem he had that well. He had figured out his fate or destiny by the Oracle of Apollo. He married his mother without knowing that he just married his mother. Another flaw was that he had assassinated his father without knowing what just happened. One minor flaw he had was that he argued with everyone he talked with. That can be really annoying.

Well so far this analization has proved that this play is a tragedy. The analization is three out of five on Aristotle s definition of a tragic playwright.

Aristotle s fourth definition of a Greek tragedy playwright is that the hero of the story goes against a more powerful force such as: fate destiny or even will. Oedipus is challenged by fate, destiny or will to show how powerful he is and to prove that the Oracle of Apollo is wrong. Some people who knew Oedipus were sent to find out what he was destined for and what his fate was. Oedipus s fate was that he was going to marry his mother and kill his father. I support this idea by Some fifteen years previously, Oedipus, then a young man, was told by the Oracle of Delphi that he was destined to kill his father and marry his mother. This came from page 21(Time and Setting). Another example from the text is God s will is open, all his oracle is clear: This quote came from page 79.

This play can bring in heavy emotional grades to the audience because this play displays sorrow of a broken up family and their lives. The emotional grades can come when you hear about how he had killed his father and mated his mother without knowing what he did. You can feel the sorrow when Oedipus wife hung herself, when she found out the truth of the Oracle she has heard of. Another sad part for the audience to purge heavy emotions come when Oedipus takes his wife broaches and stabs his self in the eyes with them.

To conclude why Oedipus the King is a tragic playwright because the main character has emotional, behavioral and a social status downfalls. Oedipus, being the hero has heroic traits because he had killed a man eating Sphinx that asks riddles. He also took over a kingdom. Another reason why this play was a tragedy, the hero had some tragic flaws dealing with life and themselves. The hero could not communicate with his family right. The next reason this was a tragedy, Oedipus was going against, fighting something that was more powerful than him. The last reason this was a tragedy, this playwright had some sad parts in it that could have made some audiences purge heavy emotional grades. Those were some reasons why this play was a tragedy.


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