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Drama Research Paper

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This paper presents facts that would exemplify or refute Aristotle's notion of a tragic hero.

When pertaining to a Greek Theatre, it is essential to create a distinction between cosmic plays and tragedies. Such distinction will formulate the main objective in studying Aristotle's Greek tragedy.

The components of the play Oedipus the King are somewhat complicated. For instance, the story line is not persistently revealed and is often disrupted by performances of the chorus. Oedipus Rex accomplishes the role of a tragedy and stimulates pity and fear. Contemporary readers, however, do not completely surrender to the impact of emotion. A reader is apt to become anxious regarding fatalism and the downfall of Oedipus (Barstow, 1912, p. 2). Aristotle discovers that the ultimate end of human undertaking is happiness, that is, doing an activity that the soul desires and is based on the true reason (Barstow, 1912, p. 2). Such happiness was discovered by Aristotle through careful observation and is not an outcome of fortune or gifts. Instead happiness is a steady and thorough intellectual vision which sees life and distinguishes action to be accomplished. Man is a motivated animal. For him to act, he must find the motive to act. Sometimes, the motive comes instantaneously as when one stands up to answer the doorbell. Sometimes, the motive comes out from tedious and well calculated efforts, as a business. Sometimes, the motive is provoked by malice and selfishness. At other times, it is inspired by love and concern for others. Whichever way, motives give life to action. Without it, man finds no reason why he must act at all.

Oedipus the King is a Sophocles' play which took place in Thebes, in Ancient Greece. Oedipus is recognized as a just and intelligent man. Oedipus rescued Thebes from a plague by responding to the riddle given by the Sphinx. Before all those events, Oedipus was not aware that he took the life of his own father and married his own mother. In this play, Sophocles made use of dramatic irony in his effort to place emphasis on tension and conflict encountered by Oedipus. Such tension created a sense of sympathy for Jocasta and Oedipus. In this sense, Oedipus the king is considered a tragic hero.

There are various ironies and parallels among the characters. Of all the characters, the most surprising is when Oedipus accused Tiresias of not minding the words he speak. Irony has it that towards the end of the end of the play, Oedipus too became blinded by his own reason. The play highlights the fact that when man go against the will of God, tragedy is likely to happen (Dodds, 1966, p. 37). Oedipus chose to ignore reality and succumbed to retain his stability and confidence. Without a doubt, Oedipus lived his life the way he wanted it and all the tragedies he encountered were destined to transpire even before his birth. The play coves five scenes. The structure of the play promotes the theme and is closely associated to the Thebes' society. There are varying viewpoints in the play. As a matter of fact, similar events are perceived by diverse characters having diverse perceptions. All through the play, the characters and the audience reconciled the diverse viewpoints of Creon and Oedipus, Jocasta, Tiresias, and the chorus.

Sophocles' Oedipus the King presents Oedipus as the play's protagonist. Oedipus embodies the definition of Aristotle of what a tragic hero is. For Aristotle, a hero is someone who is placed on a pedestal and is strongly admired because of the sense of virtues he possesses (Barstow, 1912, p. 2). A hero is someone who is devoid of any faults and is ready to sacrifice one's position for the temporal good of everyone. A hero is often someone who becomes the main topic of pity by other characters and by the audience. The most persistent argument in the Poetics of Aristotle is that tragedy is about action and the tragic hero becomes the main topic in the midst of sequences of physical events. Aristotle's tragic hero is focused on the misinterpretation of the term hamartia being a tragic flaw (Jones, 1980, p. 13). Oedipus is delivered by a flaw, which is often believed to be an extravagance of hubris or pride. It is not quite easy to translate the word hamartia. However, linguistic experts present minor doubts that hamartia does not necessarily refer to an innate flaw in character. Hamartia is an ancient term used in archery which means to miss out a certain point. Hamartia centers on the actions of a hero (Jones, 1980, p. 13). More significantly, the belief of a tragic flaw is in contradiction to the traditional ideas of justice that tends to create confusion to the intended outcome.

The ultimate end is that on account of which man decides to act. It is what is desired through actions. It is what confers meaning to an activity. The concept of motive implies that there is something important to be achieved. No same person would waste his time sitting in a bus simply because he does not want to go anywhere. When someone takes a bus, we may rightly assume that he wants to go someplace: his ultimate destination. Similarly, and in all his actions, man seeks an ultimate purpose. The end is the motivation of an act. But only what is good can motivate man to act. Therefore the end of an act is something which the doer perceives to be suitable to him. Only what is good can be suitable to man, because it does not belong to man's nature to desire evil for its own sake. An end is synonymous with the concept of good. Nothing excites the human appetite or rational desire than that which is good. Because something is good, it becomes the object of desire and therefore, desirable. Actions are tendencies towards something good. Thus, what is good and desirable is also the end of the act. The



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