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First, Oedipus Rex has a tragic hero: an essentially good person who possesses a tragic flaw (a flaw that will contribute to the hero's ultimate downfall) and makes an error in judgment (or a series of errors) that leads to his destruction. This error produces suffering for the protagonist ...

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First, Oedipus Rex has a tragic hero: an essentially good person who possesses a tragic flaw (a flaw that will contribute to the hero's ultimate downfall) and makes an error in judgment (or a series of errors) that leads to his destruction. This error produces suffering for the protagonist and arouses sympathy from the audience. Oedipus is the tragic hero of this play, and his tragic flaw is, arguably, his hubris (or immense pride). As a result of his error in judgment, also called hamartia, the tragic hero experiences a reversal of fortune. Oedipus, for example, begins the play as a powerful and self-assured king, but after the revelation of his origin, he loses everything: his wife/mother, his children, his kingdom, his eyesight. Further, the play makes use of dramatic irony to build tension, leading to a catharsis, a purging of the audience's emotion when the truth finally comes out.

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