Why is Oedipus the King of Tragedy?
Oedipus the King is an Athenian literature written by Sophocles in the 425 B.C. An original of ancient Greece, this myth was found to be one of the most tragic, dramatic and confounding stories ever written in the history of literature. The plot of the story starts with a curse casted by King Pelops of Elis to any born son of Queen Jocasta, wife of King Laius of Thebes who abducted Chrysippus, son of King Pelops. Indeed, Queen Jocasta gave birth to a boy. The couple then sought the Oracle of Delphi who claimed that in due time, the boy will kill his father and marry his mother. The couple feared the prophecy and decided to have a servant kill the child. But out of pity, the infant was passed from shepherd to shepherd until the child was adopted and was named Oedipus. As Oedipus went through a rough life of battle on his identity, he eventually fulfilled the oracle’s prophecy. Oedipus unknowingly killed his father in a battle and married his mother.
Indeed, Oedipus is the King of tragedy. For a literary piece of work to be considered tragic, it must have a tragic hero of noble birth, a tragic flaw, a fall from grace, a moment of remorse, and catharsis. And in the story of Oedipus, all these elements are contained in it. Oedipus is of noble birth, being the son of the rulers of Thebes. The tragic flaw was the fulfillment of the prophecy. The fall from grace was the truth was unveiled. And, the moment of remorse and catharsis occurred when, as the truth was starting to be uncovered, the audience also feels pity towards the tragic life of Oedipus. Thus, Oedipus is hailed as the King of Tragedy.