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Greek Terms to Know. Hamartia. Hamartia. A fatal flaw. Oedipus’ belief that he could escape his fate Oedipus ’ rash behavior Oedipus ’ pride. Hubris. Hubris. A false sense of pride in one’s own secure position. When Creon refuses to bury the body of Polyneices

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  • A fatal flaw

Oedipus’ belief that he could escape his fate

  • Oedipus’ rash behavior
  • Oedipus’ pride

A false sense of pride in one’s own secure position


When Creon refuses to bury the body of Polyneices

  • When Icarus refuses all warning and flies too close to the sun
  • A purging of the emotions of fear or pity as an effect of tragic drama on its audience

When Oedipus and Jocasta discover the horrible truth of their fate, she kills herself and he gouges out his eyes for having been blind to the truth.


Literally, “a reversal of fortune”; a sudden change of circmstances


In Star Wars, Luke’s discovery that he is Darth Vader’s son.

  • When Creon denies the burial of Polyneices in order to cement his rule and, in the end, it is that flawed decision that causes the ruin of his family and the fall of his kingdom.
  • A person’s realization of a situation; a change from ignorance to enlightenment

The moment Oedipus realizes that he has, indeed, murdered his father and married his mother

  • In The Sixth Sense, when the protagonist treats the child who is “seeing dead people” and realizes in the end he, himself, is dead