The Tragic Hero of the Classical Period

Asuamah Adade-Yeboah, Kwaku Ahenkora, Adwoah S. Amankwah


Just as tragic heroes and heroines have been identified with different eras and cultures, the classical ideal of the tragic hero will be incomplete if the concept of tragedy is not focalized. This paper, therefore, looks at how the classical period defined and delineated its tragic hero based on the action and the plot of the play. The paper provides extracts from Sophocles’ King Oedipus as the main text and Euripides’ Iphigenia in Tauris as a supporting text to present Oedipus as the tragic hero. Textual analysis shows that the delineation of the tragic hero lies in the source or context of the tragic situation. Sophocles and Euripides’ views on the tragic hero are similar to Aristotle’s concept of “hamartia” of the classical period.

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English Language and Literature Studies   ISSN 1925-4768 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4776 (Online)   E-mail:

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