Sophocles Writing Styles in Oedipus the King

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The Genre of Greek Tragic Drama

Ever since Aristotle's high praise regarding its structure and characterization in his Poetics, Oedipus Rex has been considered one of the most outstanding examples of tragic drama. In tragedy, a protagonist inspires in bis audience the twin emotions of pity and fear. Usually a person of virtue and status, the tragic hero can be a scapegoat of the gods or a victim of circumstances. Their fate (often death or exile) establishes a new and better social order. Not only does it make the viewer aware of human suffering, tragedy illustrates the manner in which pride (hubris) can topple even the strongest of characters. It is part of the playwright's intention that audiences will identify with these fallen heroes-and possibly rethink the manner in which they live their lives. Theorists of tragedy, beginning with Aristotle, have used the term catharsis to capture the sense...

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This section contains 950 words
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Oedipus the King from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.