The Tragic Hero

TheTragic Hero

OedipusTyrannus, who is the main character of the play, is seen to have atragic limitation, given the fact that his moral disposition wassomewhat, skewed, he fell out of touch with the general societalnorms. He was an actor that would make people fail to associatepositively with the actions that he makes (Segal 101). AlthoughOedipus could have carried out some good practices in his lifetime,all of that is washed away as he concentrates on fighting againstwhat he believes is bad. In spite of the views that people have aboutOedipus, it is not true that we need to view him as tragic onlybecause there are various other good characters that can beestablished concerning him, which could provide the reasons toemulate him in the long run.

Oneof the aspects that can be seen about Oedipus is the fact that he wasa very good king. In general, he was so much concerned about theaffairs of the people whom he ruled and as such, got out to makeactions that would act towards their favor. In fact, his relationshipwith his subjects is quite personal to the extent that he sees themmore as his children than the people that he governs. Regarding tothe power that he has over the land, he also upholds his end of thebargain through ensuring that he maintain very high standards ofvirtuous living through having practices that are highly consistentwith the values and ethics of the land (Macintosh 26). For instance,he sets out to ensure that honesty is a part of many people in thecommunity that he governs. Since he is the one on top, he has faiththat by acting as a role model, he will most likely be able tomotivate the other people to adopt the kind of practices that will beparamount in influencing their behavior towards one another,something that would obviously have an effect on the society.

TheKing also has great passion and zeal in the matters that are soimportant to him to the extent that he does his best to ensure thatthey are well resolved. This is a commendable character that a ruleneeds to bear since he needs to lead the subjects with a mind that isready and willing to go a step further to address the problems thatthey could be facing in their region (Segal 106). The enthusiasm andenergy play a big role in ensuring that the quest of such anindividual does not go to waste since they will enable him to stay oncourse even during times when things seem somehow tough. One of theinstances where Oedipus was very focused on the problem at hand iswhen there was an outbreak of plague in his land. This problem gavehim many sleepless nights as he sought ways that would enable him todo away with the challenge and help to alleviate his people from thegreat suffering that they were obviously subjected to. The lack ofsleep on his part was a way of him being seen to be suffering onbehalf of the entire city. These actions also motivate him to facehis subjects directly, without having to go through messengers, as away of indicating that he is with them, and they can rely on him tobe able to assist in an area that they could be less sufficient.

Mostof the people who were under his rule quite loved him as their leaderas they felt that he really cared about their interests and hadproved to them from time to time that he could make decisions thatare reliable and able to bring good tidings to the land (Macintosh29). They are also wowed by the esteem that he commands, a factorthat is very pertinent for a leader to have since he represents thepower that the people in a certain land have. They are also elated bythe great level of excellence that he has in his endeavor, whichmakes them feel proud to have him as their king.

Sure,like any other human being, Oedipus has limitations, although theyend up proving to be quite costly and lead to his ruin. He disobeysthe orders of the priest and makes decisions that play a part incausing his downfall (Segal 120). One of them includes executing aman who is old enough to be his father while the other one is thefact that he decided to marry a woman who was old enough to be hismother. These two actions cause a problem between him and the gods,which leads to his demise. Although he trusted so much in himself anderred in judgment, some of the earlier actions that he had taken werequite effective and also need to be commended.


Macintosh,Fiona.&nbspSophocles:Oedipus Tyrannus.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. 26,29

Segal,Charles.&nbspOedipusTyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge.Vol. 108. Oxford University Press on Demand, 2001. 101,106, 120