When Creon admonishes Oedipus at the end of Oedipus the King, he asserts, “Stop this striving to be master of all. The mastery you had in life has been your fall.” In doing so, Creon depicts Oedipus as a classic tragic hero. Read one short story or poem, or watch one film that depicts the role of ambition in a hero’s demise or redemption. Make a double-columned comparison chart depicting the similarities and differences between the character and Oedipus.

And then in a well-constructed essay, consider the following questions:

1. What character traits, dramatic elements, or plot events depict the protagonist as being ambitious?

2. Does this character illustrate a moral or social code of behavior? If so, describe it.

3. What is the character’s greatest desire?

4. What ultimate price is the protagonist willing to pay to reach his/her objective?

5. Detail the outcome of the protagonist’s struggle with ambition.

6. Does the protagonist regret his/her decision? How do you know?

7. Is the protagonist ultimately redeemed or condemned for his/her choices?

8. What role does hubris play in the character’s tragic fall?

Also consider the themes of ambition, fate, blindness, family, self-destruction, and gender roles.

1-2 Typed Pages, Times New Roman Font, 12pt Font

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