How is Oedipus a Tragic Hero?

Updated: November 28, 2022
A tragic hero is a person who is of high estate, often with a tragic flaw that leads to their downfall. Oedipus is a tragic hero because his hubris leads him to believe that he can outwit the gods, which ultimately leads to his downfall.
Detailed answer:

Oedipus is a tragic hero because he falls from grace. Oedipus was raised as a prince and had everything he could have ever wanted, including the love of his parents. However, later in life, he found out that he was adopted and began to question his identity. In an attempt to find out who he really was, Oedipus went on a quest to discover his past.

When Oedipus returned home to Thebes, he found out that his father had been murdered by an unknown assailant and that the murderer was still at large.

Oedipus’ hubris is what makes him a tragic hero. It makes him believe that he can outsmart the gods, especially when they tell him that he will kill his father and marry his mother. He believes himself to be smarter than the gods, so he tries to solve this puzzle by finding out who killed Laius (his father) and why the Sphinx was taking people from Thebes (his home). He does not know about Jocasta yet (his mother), so does not realize that he has already married her and killed her husband (Laius). This shows how arrogant Oedipus is because it takes away some of the sympathy we might feel for him when we learn about these events later on in the play.

How is Oedipus a Tragic Hero?. (2022, Nov 24). Retrieved from