Oedipus Rex is Greek tragedy written by Sophocles. The main character, Oedipus Rex, is a man who is trying to escape destiny. In spite of his efforts he walks right into it and becomes an ideal tragic hero with all the trimmings. Oedipus" greatest flaw is his arrogance. From this psychological flaw all his problems stem and by the end the Audience feels pity and fear for this ill-fated man. .
To become a tragic hero one must be high born. Oedipus is born the prince of Thebes. King Laios, Oedipus" father, fears that his son will kill him. Rather than risk death, Laios opts to have his son killed. Oedipus is saved however, and brought to Corinth where the royal family adopts him; again he becomes a Prince. After killing Laios and defeating the Sphinx he becomes the king of Thebes. After the king of Corinth dies, Oedipus becomes king of Corinth also. If Oedipus were any higher on the social ladder he would probably be mistaken for one of the Gods.
Taking one step back, Oedipus makes two major mistakes, his hamartia. His first error in judgment is killing Laios. Oedipus is an exceedingly arrogant man, and this fatal flaw causes him to kill the king of Thebes. Because the king has been killed and Oedipus solves the riddle of the sphinx he is awarded the status of King of Thebes and is married to his mother Iocaste. Oedipus has no idea he killed his real father and married his mother. His second major mistake is calling down a curse upon the man who killed the original king. He dooms himself in doing this since he is the murderer.
As the play reaches its end Oedipus recognizes that he has been blind to the truth; he killed his Father and married his Mother. The audience fears what Oedipus will do now that he knows the truth. He then drives needles into his eyes blinding himself as he now experiences the peripetia, or role reversal. Oedipus goes from king of Thebes to a blind exile.