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Tragic Heroes Oedipus Rex Unit.

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1 Tragic Heroes Oedipus Rex Unit

2 What is a tragedy? A tragedy is defined as a form of drama with the fortunes and misfortunes, and ultimately, the disasters that befall human beings of title, power, and position. A tragedy inevitably ends in the ruin or demise of the hero, contains an element of fate with the façade of free will and acts as a cry against the situation unfolding.

3 Tragic Hero A tragic hero is the main character of the play and must submit to six basic characteristics…

4 #1: Noble Stature Since tragedy often involves the “fall” of the hero, he/she must have a high position to fall from, or else there is no tragedy. People who fall from a high position in society, such as kings, affect the lives of others.

5 #2: Tragic Flaw The hero must “fall” due to something wrong with his/her personality. One of the most common flaws is hubris (too much pride). In Greek Mythology, this is seen when mortals think they can do better than the gods, or think they can change their fate.

6 #3: Free Choice The hero falls because he/she chooses one course of action over the other. In other words, he/she has made a life-changing mistake. Look for warnings from other characters that go unheeded, for example.

7 #4: Punishment Exceeds the Crime
The audience has to feel sorry for the tragic hero. They must feel that he/she did not get what they deserved. Death is the most common punishment and cannot be reversed AND seems the harshest.

8 #5: Increased Awareness
The hero must come to some sort of an understanding of what went wrong or what was really going on before he/she dies. He/she must come to accept a truth.

9 #6: Produces Catharsis for Audience
The audience must not feel guilty for what happened to the tragic hero. They must feel emotionally drained by the end, but satisfied that all has happened for a reason, and all characters have had life-altering realizations.

10 “The Story of Daedalus and Icarus” textbook pg 550
Outline the six different tragic hero characteristics and explain how they apply to the narrative poem (ex - #1 How is Daedalus’s noble stature exemplified in the story? #2 What is Daedalus’s tragic flaw? Etc) Complete the Apply the Skills questions on page 553 (#s 1-9)

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