Aristotle referred to “Oedipus Rex” in his book Poetics. In his eyes, this play is the greatest tragedy ever written by anyone in the history of drama. Oedipus Rex, said Aristotle, is an ideal tragic hero. Though the play seems a clash between fate and free will yet Aristotle ignored the concept of fate while saying that Oedipus suffers due to hubris. He is of the view that hamartia in this character leads him towards his downfall. Hence, Aristotle undoubtedly considers Oedipus Rex a well-sketched tragic hero but students of literature and critics doubt his opinion. As we know that Sophocles demonstrated a war between free will and the wills of gods, therefore, it is much more difficult to agree on a specific point without knowing the comments of critics.
While watching a play, the audience sees Oedipus Rex mere victim of circumstances. Oedipus Rex can only be called a perfect tragic hero if his actions are responsible for his sufferings and not his fate. However, apart from hamartia, some other elements of tragedy are also required to be fulfilled in order to prove him a perfect tragic hero.
Read more at: