Uses of Hamartia, Flaw, and Irony in Oedipus Tyrannus and King Lear

  title={Uses of Hamartia, Flaw, and Irony in Oedipus Tyrannus and King Lear},
  author={R. Glassberg},
  journal={Philosophy and Literature},
  pages={201 - 206}
  • R. Glassberg
  • Published 2017
  • Philosophy
  • Philosophy and Literature
I agree with those who say that hamartia is best understood in its literal sense of "missing the mark" rather than as "tragic flaw." The two are different. Hamartia suggests an action—committing an error or misperceiving a situation—while "tragic flaw" suggests a condition, a state of being such as rashness or excessive egoism. Citing examples from Oedipus Tyrannus and King Lear, I show that in each case the protagonist's misperceptions exacerbate his flaw, serving to propel the action. Irony… Expand


Fate, Philology, Freud
Such terms as Fate, Necessity, Destiny are routinely treated as high-level philosophical and theological abstractions. This article argues in favor of viewing them, alternatively, in terms of theirExpand
The Tragedy of King Lear
List of illustrations Preface List of abbreviations and conventions Introduction: Date and sources of Shakespeare's King Lear The play King Lear on stage and screen Recent stage, film, and criticalExpand