Oedipus the King is full of common literary elements that are important for students to explore. One of the more important elements is that of the tragic hero. This is a protagonist who is typically of noble birth and seems to be ill-fated and destined for doom. In this play, it is clear that Oedipus fits this description, as he is lead to his tragic ending.
The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, first articulated the specific attributes or principles of a tragic hero. In fact, he said Oedipus the King was the perfect example of a tragedy. For the storyboard above, students can use a template to storyboard the qualities that make Oedipus, a tragic hero. The finished product outlines each of Aristotle's principles with a detailed explanation of the specific attributes.
|ATTRIBUTE||DESCRIPTION||Example from Oedipus Rex|
|Hamartia||Hero's Flaw that Causes Downfall||Oedipus’ ignorance of his parenthood, combined with his anger, pride, and determination leads him to discover the horror of his past actions.|
|Hubris||Excessive Pride||He believed that could defy prophecy and Tiresias’s warnings.|
|Peripeteia||Reversal of Fortune||When the messenger arrives from Corinth, he tries to relieve Oedipus by telling he was adopted. This is the point where Oedipus begins to unravel the tale of his life.|
|Anagnorisis||Moment of Critical Discovery||As the play draws to a close, Oedipus realizes the terrible truth. Despite all his efforts - because of them, in fact - he has killed his father and married his mother. The prophecy he and his father had tried to avoid has come true.|
|Nemesis||Fate that Cannot be Avoided||Oedipus’s fate is prophesied as a newborn, he tries to escape it, but by his actions works against his own interests.|
|Catharsis||Audience's Feeling of Pity or Fear After the Hero's Fall||The audience see Oedipus, a flawed but still great man, brought low by fate. They pity his tragic circumstances and feel fear that their own hubris or anger could lead to catastrophe.|
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a storyboard that shows how Oedipus can be considered a tragic hero.
Grade Level 9-12
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment Individual
Type of Activity: Tragic HeroCommon Core Standards
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
Tragic Hero Characteristics
The six tragic hero characteristics are correctly identified and portrayed from the story. The explanation provided explains how the scenes depict each characteristic, and shows effective analysis.
Four or five tragic hero characteristics are correctly identified and portrayed from the story, or some of the elements may not be identified correctly. The explanations give context to the scene, but may be minimal, and there is some attempt at analysis.
Two or three tragic hero characteristics are correctly identified and portrayed from the story, or most of the elements are inaccurately depicted. The quotes and/or explanations are too minimal.
One or fewer tragic hero characteristics are correctly identified and portrayed from the story, or most of the elements are inaccurately depicted. The quotes and/or explanations are minimal or missing altogether.
The art chosen to depict the scenes are accurate to the work of literature. Time and care is taken to ensure that the scenes are neat, eye-catching, and creative.
The art chosen to depict the scenes should be accurate, but there may be some liberties taken that distract from the assignment. Scene constructions are neat, and meet basic expectations.
The art chosen to depict the scenes is inappropriate. Scene constructions are messy and may create some confusion.
The art chosen to depict the scenes is too limited or incomplete.
Ideas are organized. There are few or no grammatical, mechanical, or spelling errors.
Ideas are mostly organized. There are some grammatical, mechanical, or spelling errors.
Ideas may be disorganized or misplaced. Lack of control over grammar, mechanics, and spelling reflect a lack of proofreading.
Storyboard text is difficult to understand.