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Oedipus the Tragedy Imagine the pain of discovering that you had unknowingly murdered your father and then married your widowed mother This was the discovery made by the main character in Sophocles Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex when he sets out to seek his true identity The philosopher Aristotle explains in his book The Poetics that a tragic play arouses the emotions of pity fear wonder and awe in the audience The plot must be complex and a character should fall from prosperity to misfortune due to some type of mistake Classical tragedy also involves portraying the reversal of a situation self recognition from a character and human suffering The three unities noble character and a complex plot are some of the criteria from Aristotles Poetics that make Oedipus Rex a classic example of Greek tragedy Aristotle regards the plot as the most important parts of a Greek tragedy He states that the plot ought to be to be so constructed that even without the aid of the eye he who hears the tale will thrill with horror and melt to pity at what takes place The Poetics Oedipus Rexs plot moves in various directions which Aristotle calls reversal and recognition This is another of the mechanical parts required in a Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex portrays qualities of reversal when Oedipus who was once superior has now been reduced to an inferior level His tragic fate was prophesized to Oedipus himself and also to Laius his father years before Each man had sought to undermine this prophecy Oedipus Rex illustrates the characteristic of recognition when Oedipus comes to realize who he actually is his fathers murderer and his mothers
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