A hero prizes above all else his honor and the excellence of his life.
A hero values strength and skill, courage and determination, for these attributes enable the person who possesses them to achieve glory and honor, both in his lifetime and after he dies.
Oedipus was certainly a hero who was exceptionally intelligent though one can argue that killing four men single-handedly, on his way to Delphi, more than qualified him as a physical force of reckoning.
To those in Athens who watched the performance of Oedipus the King, Oedipus appeared to be the embodiment of a perfect Athenian.
He is self-confident, intelligent, and strong-willed. Ironically, these are the very traits which bring about his tragic discovery.
A literary tragedy presents courageous individuals who confront powerful forces within or outside themselves with a dignity that reveals the depth of the human spirit in the face of failure, defeat, and even death.
It is said that a man should never consider himself fortunate unless he can look back on his life and remember that life without pain.
He obviously knew his heroic status when he greeted the citizens of Thebes before the palace doors saying, “I thought it wrong, my children, to hear the truth / from others, messengers.
Here I am myself- / you all know me, the world knows of my fame: / I am Oedipus.” (ll.
Oedipus has to choose between his doom and an alternative, which if accepted would betray the hero’s own conception of himself, his rights, his duties. Oedipus’ quest for the truth fits his self image as a man of action, the revealer of truth, and the solver of riddles.
He doesn’t seem to realize the personal consequences his hunt will have for him.