Why was Oedipus a Hero?

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Was Oedipus a hero?

Why do you think Oedipus, the Thebes King was called a hero? Although Oedipus was on the one hand a hero considering the great deeds he did, he also encountered his share of misfortune. Pride was his downfall and self-destruction ended in death which made him a tragic hero.

Ironically, it seemed an ambiguous cycle of fate for Odepius from his birth: the prophesy that said he would kill his father and marry his mother. This led his parents to have him killed but he was spared as a result of the mercy of a shepherd helper who gave him over to a childless couple who raised him as their own. Oedipus, later hearing of the curse that was prophesied over him, believing the couple to be his natural parents, fled Corinth to escape the fate of the prophesy.

Upon Arrival at Thebes, Oedipus proves his logical supremacy and wisdom by answering a riddle; the reward of his maternal mother’s hand in marriage. He had four children by her and after several years the consequences of the prophesy began to come to past. The city of Thebes was hit by a terrible plague and Oedipus leaves realizing the consequences that had befallen him and pride and vindication took the better of him.

In such poignant circumstances, the question arises as to whether Oedipus actually accomplished extraordinary feats and was transformed in life to call him a ‘hero, or not?

Author: Khavin S

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