Oedipus as a Tragic Hero: According to Aristotle’s theory of tragedy and his definition of the central character, Oedipus the hero of Sophocles is considered a classical model of the tragic hero. The tragic hero of a tragedy is essential element to arouse pity and fear of the audience to achieve the emotional purgation or catharathis. Therefore, this character must have some features or characteristics this state of purgation. In fact, Oedipus as a character has all the features of the tragic hero as demanded by Aristotle. The concept of tragic hero is very important in the construction of tragedy. It is the main cause of pity and fear. The tragic hero is a character between the two extremes; he is neither virtuous nor evil.
Major Themes Fate, divine laws, and pre-ordinance were issues that deeply concerned the ancient Greeks as it was a developing civilization where its faith in the supernatural was constantly examined and re-examined. In the cosmic order of Sophocles’ plays, fate is the overruling order. This does not mean that characters do not have free will but that they cannot go beyond the cosmic order that rules the universe. In defying fate, humans are subjected to being struck down for going beyond their limitations as humans. To accept this order is to be part of the harmony which rules the universe. To go against it means disrupting this order and taking the consequences of one’s actions. In Oedipus Rex, the main theme explored is that fate is character.