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There remains something unsettling about its plot structure and its ambiguous meaning, and that is what lends it its power.Image: Oedipus and the Sphinx of Thebes (author: Carole Raddato), Wikimedia Commons.
Catharsis, in Greek, means "purgation" or "purification"; running through the gamut of these strong emotions will leave viewers feeling elated, in the same way we often claim that crying might ultimately make you feel better.
Aristotle also outlined the characteristics of an ideal tragic hero.
The city’s king, Oedipus, sends Creon to consult the Delphic oracle, who announces that if the city rids itself of a murderer, the plague will disappear.
The murderer in question is the unknown killer of the city’s previous king, Laius.
According to Aristotle, a tragedy must be an imitation of life in the form of a serious story that is complete in itself; in other words, the story must be realistic and narrow in focus.
A good tragedy will evoke pity and fear in its viewers, causing the viewers to experience a feeling of catharsis.A thief steals your wallet and you never see him, or your wallet, again. Oedipus kills Laius because he is a stubborn and angry man; in his anger and pride, he allows himself to forget the prophecy (or to believe himself safe if he kills this man who ), and to kill another man.That one event will set in motion a chain of events that will see him married to his mother, the city over which he rules in the grip of plague, and – ultimately – Oedipus blinded and his wife/mother hanged.At the same time, a tragic hero must evoke both pity and fear, and Aristotle claims that the best way to do this is if he is imperfect.A character with a mixture of good and evil is more compelling that a character who is merely good.One of his soldiers, bearing a golden badge that resembles an eye in shape, is the one who kills Winter Kay in battle.In his dying moments, the hapless villain realises that, in seeking to avert the prophecy, he had, in fact, helped it to come true. Oedipus heard the prophecy that he would one day murder his father and marry his mother, and so fled from his presumed parents so as to avoid fulfilling the prophecy.And Oedipus is far from perfect; although a clever man, he is blind to the truth and stubbornly refuses to believe Teiresias's warnings.Although he is a good father, he unwittingly fathered children in incest.He must be "better than we are," a man who is superior to the average man in some way.In Oedipus's case, he is superior not only because of social standing, but also because he is smart: he is the only person who could solve the Sphinx's riddle.