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Finally, Oedipus earns royal respect at Thebes when he solves the riddle of the Sphinx.As a gift for freeing the city, Creon gives Oedipus dominion over the city.
Oedipus fits this precisely, for his basic flaw is his lack of knowledge about his own identity.
Moreover, no amount of foresight or preemptive action could remedy Oedipus' hamartia; unlike other tragic heroes, Oedipus bears no responsibility for his flaw.
Thus, Oedipus' nobility derives from many and diverse sources, and the audience develops a great respect and emotional attachment to him.
The complex nature of Oedipus' "hamartia," is also important.
Oedipus fulfills the three parameters that define the tragic hero.
His dynamic and multifaceted character emotionally bonds the audience; his tragic flaw forces the audience to fear for him, without losing any respect; and his horrific punishment elicits a great sense of pity from the audience.Though Sophocles crafted Oedipus long before Aristotle developed his ideas, Oedipus fits Aristotle's definition with startling accuracy.The Six Elements of a Tragedy in “Oedipus Rex” Aristotle’s “The Poetics” describes the process of a tragedy.Aristotle's ideas revolve around three crucial effects: First, the audience develops an emotional attachment to the tragic hero; second, the audience fears what may befall the hero; and finally (after misfortune strikes) the audience pities the suffering hero.Through these attachments the individual members of the audience go through a catharsis, a term which Aristotle borrowed from the medical writers of his day, which means a "refining" -- the viewer of a tragedy refines his or her sense of difficult ethical issues through a vicarious experious of such thorny problems.This odd amalgam of continued suffering and closure make the audience feel as if Oedipus' suffering is his proper and natural state.Clearly, Oedipus' unique downfall demands greater pity from the audience.In effect, Oedipus is dead, for he receives none of the benefits of the living; at the same time, he is not dead by definition, and so his suffering cannot end.Oedipus receives the worst of both worlds between life and death, and he elicits greater pity from the audience.First, by blinding himself, as opposed to committing suicide, Oedipus achieves a kind of surrogate death that intensifies his suffering.He comments on the darkness - not just the literal inability to see, but also religious and intellectual darkness - that he faces after becoming blind.