Oedipus the King is an excellent example of Aristotle’s theory of tragedy. The play contains an ideal tragic plot that consists of paripeteia, anagnorisis and catastrophe. This play is also distinguished for having the ideal tragic character that suffers from happiness to misery due to hamartia and the play combines compassion and fear that produces the wonderful tragic effect.
Oedipus the king has the ingredients for a good tragedy plot, including peripeteia. According to Aristotle, Peripeteia is necessary for this conspiracy. Peripeteia is “a reflection of his wealth from happiness to disaster.” The reflection of Oedipus’s fortune occurs when he realizes that he is the son of Laius and Jocasta.
Where the messenger comes to Oedipus on the assumption that he will relieve the king of fear and perplexity that he will kill his father as Oracle had predicted. But by revealing the secret that Oedipus is not the one who thinks he was found and given it to his father, Polipos, the Apostle does the opposite.
The Apostle makes Oedipus more fearful instead and reflects Oedipus’ life. The choir says: “You are my great example, you, your life, your destiny, Oedipus, the man of misery – I do not count anyone who blesses” (1318-20). Chorus says that her idea of human happiness has now been destroyed by reflecting Oedipus’ wealth.
Oedipus is a true martyr and with his suffering we see the tragic dimensions and parts of the character. Oedipus is the embodiment of a tragic hero and possesses all five characteristics of a tragic hero. Oedipus is a proud king of being stubborn, too, at the beginning of his fall. He is flawed by his ignorance of his concept, and the cause of the story events at all.
His defect falls on Thebes and causes starvation and the birth of his people continues. Oedipus tragically takes the full blame for the curse on himself. Finally, Oedipus suffers and becomes a martyr instead of an easy and simple death and the end of his suffering. Oedipus Rex was the ideal tragic hero, and has since been transformed into a tragic hero when studying the Greek tragedy.
How the first problem leads to the next:
The play takes place in Thebes city, where King “Laius” was the king of Thebes and his wife did not have children. So he went to the Delphi temple to ask the fortune-teller about a solution to his problem, so divination came to him with a prophecy, which is: He will have a son who will kill his father and marry his mother, so Laius was greatly disturbed by this prophecy and left for his home.
Days pass and the prophecy started by the birth of “Laius” son, but “Laius’s” fear of the prophecy was realized so he gave the child to his guard and asked him to kill him, and Laius thought that he had got rid of his son and the prophecy at this moment but this was the first mistake “Laius” falls in.
Instead of believing in destiny and prophecy and surrendering to his fate that his son will kill him and marry his mother, “Laius” defied fate and surrendered to his fears and ordered his guard to kill his son, but the prophecy should be verify. So fate interferes and instead of The guard do the king’s orders, he left the child with a shepherd who inhabits the mountain, and from here begins a series of events that will eventually lead to the fulfillment of the prophecy.
The shepherd had pity on the child and took him to the king and queen of Corinth because they can’t have children and gave “Oedipus” to them, and the child was raised with the king and queen and he believed that they were his parents until he became young, and one day he was with his companions, they suspected him that he is not the son of the king of Corinth and the queen.
He went out to consult the gods, so the prophecy came to him (you will kill your father and marry your mother), Oedipus was disturbed and left his country and his parents cause of the prophecy, meaning that he refused to accept the prophecy exactly as his father did “Laius” and went to Thebes.
On the way, he had a conflict with the driver of a cart of an elder man, a dispute erupted between him and the man and his guards ended with the killing of the man “Laius” and his guards by “Oedipus”, so that the first part of the prophecy would be fulfilled “Oedipus would kill his father.”