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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Digital Culture and Higher Education

Following is the link to the PPT slides of the talk delivered on "Digital Culture and Higher Education" at 108th Orientation Programme organised by UGC-Human Resource Development Centre, University of Mysore on 13 January 2015. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Centre Rejects private B School request to award degrees


Thursday, June 18, 2015


Murder in Cathedral
Dissimilar to those specialists who keep up an unaltered perspective of the world and of the advancement of their specialty, T. S. Eliot's life was one of development. In his childhood, he was basically a humorist, ridiculing the traditions of society in ballads, for example, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" or "Representation of a Lady." Later, he turned into a mosaic craftsman of impeccable sensibility when, piece by part, he sorted out his cursing picture of post-World War I progress in The Waste Land (1922). Still later, discovering his moral negativity basically sterile, he peaked his long enthusiasm for rationality, theology, scholarly history, and government by turning into a royalist in governmental issues, a classicist in writing, and an Anglo-Catholic in religion. 

Conceived in the United States and instructed at Harvard, Eliot early settled in England. All through his initial profession he had grown more than an easygoing enthusiasm for the show, not just as a work of art all by itself, however in the theater as a method for guideline. Such early sections as Sweeney Agonistes (1932) entice by their inadequacy, yet Murder in the Cathedral exhibits Eliot's authority of the excellent disastrous structure. 

In this amazingly powerful play, Eliot joins gadgets got from the Greeks—the theme, static activity, and Aristotelian purgation—with his significant responsibility to the Anglo-Catholic ritual. Murder in the Cathedral from various perspectives takes after a medieval ethical quality play whose object is to edify and additionally engross. Yet the work is never just ethically informational. It transcends instruction on the grounds that Archbishop Thomas Becket's inward anguish is made so individual and immortal. Becket's death turns out to be all the more genuine by the ensuing political and fleeting occasions it inspires. 

Eliot solidly accepted that twentieth century dramatization, to be best, must be composed in verse, a conviction he imparted to William Butler Yeats, his Irish contemporary. Eliot's verse is moving without being pompously wonderful in light of the fact that it achieves the group of onlookers on a level that Eliot himself termed the sound-related creative energy. Reacting from the oblivious, the observers are drawn profoundly into the dramatization and start to share Becket's inner desolations by partaking in the practically primitive cadenced controls of Eliot's misleadingly basic verse. 

What makes Eliot's play so convenient is that the four allurements offered to Thomas by the seducers are decisively those confronted, whether intentionally or unwittingly, by the twentieth century group of onlookers: those of common joy, fleeting force, otherworldly power, and, at long last and most quietly, endless wonderfulness. Thomas negates every one of them, straightforwardly, however is enchanted for a period by the fourth flirt, who shows that if Thomas somehow happened to continue on his course, he would be purposely courting suffering to accomplish interminable bliss with God. Inevitably, Thomas counters the contention with a standout amongst the best lines in the play: "The last allurement and the best conspiracy/ Is to do the right deed for the wrong reason." Thomas' assurance of the profound rightness he could call his own behavior reflects that of individuals from the crowd, who gradually get to be mindful they could call their own culpability in acting accurately for deficient reason in any matter, or even of acting egotistically for a decent end. The inclusion of the gathering of people so significantly is another tribute to Eliot's virtuoso. 

Eliot additionally takes a shot at still another level, that of the contention of forces. Every force might maybe be supported in its own specific manner, and Thomas perceives that the lord and the worldly power he speaks to have some avocation. The ruler, besides, had once been Thomas' nearest companion and had, actually, made him ecclesiastical overseer. Thomas contemplates on the obligations to the worldly domain, to fellowship, and to appreciation, yet he keeps on keeping up the power of the otherworldly request over the fleeting. On the off chance that a few things are Caesar's, they are Caesar's simply because God allowed that to be so. 

Murder in the Cathedral was initially arranged in Canterbury Cathedral, a wonderful Gothic artifact giving a most striking setting. Still frequently created in a congregation building, the play picks up quickness through the verisimilitude accomplished by the blend of setting, formality, verse, and tune. Notwithstanding Thomas' splendid Christmas sermon, which opens the second demonstration, Eliot does not lecture. He doesn't lessen the circumstance to a basic instance of good versus detestable. Rather, he makes a contention of personas, each with an all around created reason. The decision is between choices, not contrary energies. Thomas, who expects that he may be a casualty of the wrongdoing of pride, must nevertheless pick either punishment or salvation. 

Eliot, constantly aware of history, realized that the Shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury was among the most popular of medieval objects of dedication and journey. Along these lines, even the supports of the knights who murdered Thomas merit genuine consideration. More than one twentieth century chronicled pundit has thought about whether Thomas were not "dead set" on paradise, a question that Thomas himself contemplates. In the event that the knights' defense is to be dismisses, the inquiry stays in respect to how their very own lot justifications does not keep on being a piece of what persuades individual activity. 

Murder in the Cathedral is a convincing show for praising the themes of confidence, support, power, and clash, which keep on repeating through the ages. Eliot made an ageless work that envisions his significantly religious and otherworldly gathering of lyrics Four Quartets (1943) and his later medications of very much alike themes in plays, for example, The Cocktail Party (1949) and The Confidential Clerk (1953). The majority of Eliot's later verse and plays, notwithstanding, must be read in view of Murder in the Cathedral, for it speaks to an essential accomplishment in his recognized profes

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Murder in the Cathedral: plot analysis

Respected Sir,

Please find the plot analysis for Murder in the Cathedral with respect to Aristotle's Poetics attached below.

Yours sincerely,

Phalguni Vittal Rao

Murder in the cathedral

Monday, June 15, 2015

Namya Naresh - Murder in the Cathedral plot analysis


Murder In The Cathedral Plot Analysis Through Aristotelian Plot Theory


According to Aristotle, a tragedy is an imitation an action according to the law of probability and necessity. It is rooted in the fundamental order of the universe. Therefore, it arouses not only pity but also fear as the audience can envision themselves within the Cause- and- effect chain that is created.


Murder in the cathedral written by T.S.Eliot, is a ritualistic poetic drama, where the writer is given the opportunity to consider the inner thoughts and doubts of the central character. T.S. Eliot has used elements of the Greek Tragedy in this particular play for example the Greek chorus, which comments and responds to the unfolding drama. In Murder in the Cathedral the chorus comprises of women of Canterbury. The Greek chorus is an iconic element in the play.


The first feature of a tragedy according to Aristotle is the 'Plot'. Aristotle further provides the structure of a plot itself. The first component of the plot is the 'Exposition'. In the play Murder in the Cathedral the exposition will probably be the beginning of the play when the women of Canterbury and the other commoners gather at the Archbishop's Hall to discuss the return of Thomas Becket. Here they also introduce the conflict that had taken place in the past between Henry II and Thomas Becket because of which he was exiled or fled to France. Second is the Rising action, the rising action in this play would be the entrance of Thomas Becket and the tempers. One by one as Becket declines the suggestions of each temper it indicates the rising action. Third, is the climax, the climax arrives when the fourth and last temper arrives and suggests that Thomas make himself a martyr. As in doing so he will be remembered as eternally powerful. The tragic flaw or 'Hamartia' is recognized soon after this as Thomas admits to considering martyrdom in his private time. He does not want to be hated by all but be remembered eternally. He struggles with pride. This is followed by the falling action, which is probably his death. And at last the play ends with the denouement when the chorus claims that living up to the sacrifice of Thomas Becket is very difficult however taking up the challenge will make them spiritually richer.


The plot therefore is structurally self contained as Aristotle demands, except for the beginning. T.S.Eliot wrote the play assuming that his audience would be aware of the conflict that had taken place between King Henry II and Archbishop Thomas Becket. The incidents however are bound together by internal necessity, each action leading inevitably to the next with no outside intervention.


The plot of Murder in the Cathedral resembles a complex plot, which includes both 'reversal of intention' or 'peripeteia' as well as 'recognition connected to the catastrophe' or 'anagnorisis'. Here the reversal of intention takes place at the end of part I and in the interlude where Becket does not succumb to the temptation offered by the tempers and making himself a martyr for the wrong reasons and decides that he will "no longer act or suffer," and will instead face `his martyrdom not as something he wants, but as something he is willing to accept. He has accepted his fate.  



Therefore in all these ways we see that Murder in the Cathedral by T.S.Eliot follows Aristotle's plot structure therefore enabling us to analyze it as such. 


Namya Naresh




Subhiksha sahay


Influence of Aristotle on T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral

History is past yet its knowledge is always important for future. Aristotle's concepts about plays are still important for playwrights. The world of playwrights like Shakespeare and T.S. Eliot has always looked up to his understanding of tragedies in his book "Poetics". It is said that past dies with time but these renowned playwrights have kept Aristotle alive for generations and his place in the coming years will be the same as it is today.

If you don't believe me you can refer to T.S. Eliot's remarkably effective play "Murder in the Cathedral" which has a deep influence of Aristotelian concept of tragedy where a great man accepts challenges bravely that attempts to stop him from accepting his fate. The play is a sequence of events that had occurred due to a chain of cause and effect of actions. The play links Greek devices like the chorus, static action, and Aristotelian purgation—with his profound commitment to the Anglo-Catholic liturgy.

"Murder in the Cathedral" is known to demonstrate Eliot's mastery of the classic tragic form. This verse drama portrays the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. The chorus in the play uses the element of foreshadowing which is common among Greek tragedies. "Murder in the Cathedral" in many ways resembles a medieval morality play whose purpose is to enlighten as well as entertain. Yet the work is never merely morally instructive.

 Eliot's creation of Thomas has great influence of Greek tragedies. Even though these tragedies have poor ending for their heroes, audiences are meant to respond to the bravery with which these heroes have accepted their deaths. The author used the concept of 'tragic flaw' to reflect the challenge that Thomas conforms in accepting his fate i.e. his pride and moral superiority. These are qualities that make Thomas an effective Chancellor and empower him to defend his Church. However, his pride is also a big obstacle.  

Eliot's audience also knew the basic plot of the myth like the Greek audience, so the experience of the play was about relating to the hero who accepted his fate as a martyr. The beauty is not in whether he would die but in how he will accept his death. The introduction of tempters is to enrich the play. This introduction emphasizes on the stress on Becket's pride, the flow he must overcome to accept his martyrdom peacefully for the right reason. Thomas realistic flaw does not stop the audience to look at him as a Greek hero.

By using these Aristotelian concepts for tragedies, playwrights are able to achieve success in their writing and leave their mark on the coming generations.


1. Aristotle - Poetics

2. T.S. Eliot - murder in the cathedral

3. Sophocles- Oedipus Rex

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Assignment -plot analysis of murder in the cathedral

Greek Tragedy

Respected Sir,
Please find the attached document.

Tanvi Pathak

Assignment (1414025)

Plot Analysis Of Murder in the Cathedral




Analysis of the Plot

(Based on Aristotle's Poetics)



5TCE - 1314025

Department Of Theatre Studies

Christ University



The plot is the most important feature of a tragedy. Aristotle defines it to be the arrangements of the incidents, which in this case of Murder in the Cathedral, is not the story itself but the way the incidents occur, depending on it's tightly constructed cause and effect chain of actions. These actions are superior to those that depend primarily on the characters and personality of the protagonist, Thomas Becket.


While analyzing Murder in the Cathedral, we could recognize the influence of Greek tragedy on Eliot's creation of Thomas. Eliot writes his protagonist just like it was prescribed in the Aristotelian conception of tragedy that a 'great' man would brave challenges that attempted to ambush him from accepting his providence. Audiences were meant to respond to the bravery with which the heroes in Greek tragedies accepted their deaths, even though it ended poorly for their heroes. This could make a complete relativity to Eliot's character Thomas, and the series of events that his actions cause leading us to the pen ultimatum.

While the concept of a 'tragic flaw' is often overstated, especially in the case of Thomas, it is worth mentioning that he has often been defined by characteristic qualities that both aid and hampered his journey toward accepting his martyrdom.


Murder in the Cathedral puts the base to the action of Thomas Becket returning from his exile, which paves way for the other agents (characters and the chorus) to perform their respective actions according to their moral and intellectual characteristics, expressed in what they do and say. This, in turn, forms one constituent part of the tragedy, giving space for the ordered sequence of events, which make up the action being imitated. Thus, Aristotle also says, Tragedy, like all poetry, is an imitation.


The plot centers on various matters, the most prominent being the relationship between King Henry II and Thomas Becket.  At the beginning of the play, when the herald announces Becket's return, there is a sense of doom in the minds of the women of Canterbury in the Chorus. This foreshadows the end of the play from the very beginning.


The Chorus of Canterbury Women worry that Becket's return could make their lives more problematical, by angering the king. Later on, three priests enter the hall and also lament his absence and debate the ramifications of his potential return. All of this would lead us to what Aristotle calls Unity. This would potentially mean that a plot is not unified because it is concerned with a single person (Becket for instance). An indeterminately large number of things happen to any one person, not all of which constitute a unity; likewise a single individual performs many actions, and they do not make up a single action.



In this play, the Cathedral is one determinate structure- the structure of the various sections of the events. This would only work if the transposition or removal of any one section dislocates and changes the whole. If the presence or absence of something has no discernible effect, it is not part of the whole. Hence the entire play revolves around the cathedral and the politics within. If taken apart, it not only changes the whole, but also dislocates it along the way. This theory could also be closely associated with the theory of deconstruction, as explained by Derrida.


The plot of Murder in the Cathedral also supports the idea of universality. What is plausible is possible; we are disinclined to believe what has not happened is possible, but it is obvious that what has happened is possible- because it would not have happened if it were not. Eliot has produced a mixture of theology and tragedy, and extending this one step further would have the "tragic" hero having little or no hamartia. Here, the plot may be the universalization of a conventional falsehood; hence, as we have seen, Aristotle has no objections to plots based on traditional beliefs about the gods, even though he would dismiss those beliefs on philosophical grounds. Eliot adapts this understanding to a more optimistic, Christian purpose by suggesting that Christians mourn the world that kills martyrs, while celebrating the sacrifice. It is a similar mystery and contradiction, although Eliot's conception is about subsuming one's individuality to God rather than flaunting it in the face of greater forces.


The journey of Becket in order to change himself would lead us to another fact called recognition, which marks the change from ignorance to knowledge. Recognition is best when it occurs simultaneously with a reversal, and Becket's action of reversal proves to be successful at this. Historiography, by contrast, although bound to the truth of what happened, has no commitment to universality; history records what events form a sequence linked by necessity or probability. Aristotle explicitly rejects plots constructed like works of historiography, just as had rejected plots constructed like biographies. Just like in Oedipus Rex, the peripeteia of the play is the Messenger's reversal of intention; in seeking to help Oedipus by telling him that Polybus and Merope were not his real parents, he instead creates the opposite effect, providing the crucial piece of information that will reveal that Oedipus has indeed killed his father and married his mother. In Murder in the Cathedral, the last temptation is sudden and unexpected. This is another step in Aristotle's argument. By allowing the King's assassins to kill him, he can acquire the glory of martyrdom. Plots like these could acquire different, yet inconsistent conclusions. Becket soon realizes that even the desire of martyrdom if filled with sinful pride will lead him to the end. He refuses to commit the sin of cherishing the desire. However, as suggested by Aristotle in Poetics, one could be allowed to reach to different conclusions without contradiction. Plots like Murder in the Cathedral are considered superior, where harmful action is either planned or carried out with full knowledge of the circumstances and consequences. Therefore, the murder of Becket explores this idea of bringing superiority to the plot, regardless of the consequences.










Greek Tragedies

Greek Tragedies

Hamartia in Oedipus Rex

According to Aristotle, a tragic hero is a distinguished person occupying a high position or having a high status in life and in very prosperous circumstances falling into misfortune on account of a "hamartia" or some defect of character. He should be good or fine man though not perfect. There is nothing to arouse the feelings of pity or fear in seeing a bad character pass from prosperity into misfortune while the ruin of a man who represents near-perfection in the moral sense is repugnant and horrible. The tragic hero is neither a moral paragon nor a scoundrel. He should be true to type, and consistent or true to himself. Aristotle would attribute disaster or catastrophe in a tragedy to an error rather than a deliberate crime.
The main requirements of Aristotle in regard to the tragic hero are thus (1) high social standing, (2) moral excellence or goodness, and (3) some fault of character, or error committed by the hero in ignorance. Oedipus answers to all these requirements.
 Oedipus is a man of royal birth; he is brought up by a King and a Queen and he himself afterwards becomes a King and marries a Queen. He is thus a man of social eminence and possessing excellent qualities of character, though his is by no means perfect. We cannot say that his misfortune is due to any defect in his character, though his defects do produce the impression that such a man must pay for his defects. It would be wrong to say that he is a puppet in the hands of fate. Within certain limits he is a free agent, though it must be recognized that the prophecy of the oracle would yet have been fulfilled. 

Oedipus is a good king, a great well wisher of his people, a man of integrity, an honest and great administrator and an outstanding intellect. He is a pious man who believes in oracles, respects the bonds of family, and hates impurity. His belief in the prophecies of gods is the very basis of the whole play. The suppliant people approach him almost as a god and he is honoured as a saviour. When Creon reveals the cause of the city's suffering, Oedipus declares his resolve to track down the criminal and he utters a terrible curse upon him. We can say that Oedipus is almost an ideal King. He also shows himself as a devoted husband and a loving father. He shows due consideration for the opinions and feelings of Jocasta and he lavishes all his affection on his daughters. His relations with the Chorus are also very cordial and he shows all due courtesy to them. In short both as a man and as a king Oedipus is worthy of high respect.

However, Oedipus has his faults. He is hot-tempered, hasty in his judgment, proud of his intelligence, and random in his decisions. He quickly loses his temper when he finds the prophet reluctant to reveal the things that he knows. He jumps to the conclusion that Teiresias and Creon have hatched a conspiracy against him. This attitude of distrust towards the prophet is in sharp contrast to Oedipus's genuine piety. Oedipus belongs to the world of politics and human standards rather than to the divine order of the world. His piety fails also later on when, under the influence of Jocasta, he becomes somewhat skeptical regarding the oracle.

An outstanding feature of Oedipus's character is an inherent feeling of pride in his own wisdom. Because of this arrogance, Oedipus certainly alienates some of our sympathy. When self-confidence takes the form of pride, haughtiness, arrogance or insolence, it becomes disgusting and obnoxious. His attitude of intolerance towards both Teiresias and Creon and his highly offensive and insulting words to both of them create in us the impression that he is paving the way for his own downfall. Of course, Oedipus has already committed the crimes which make him a sinner in the eyes of the god, in his own eyes, and in the eyes of other people. But the tragedy lay in discovery that he is guilty of them. If the crimes had remained unknown there would hardly have been any tragedy. Tragedy comes with the fact for discovery both for Jocasta and himself.

It would be a flaw in the logic to say that Oedipus suffers because of his sin of pride, but his pride is not the direct cause of his tragedy. He tried to avoid the fulfillment of the prophecies made by oracle. He killed his father and married his mother. His tragedy is a tragedy of error. If he had been a little more careful, things would have taken a different shape. He might have avoided the quarrel on the road if he had not been so proud or hot-tempered; and he might have refused to marry a woman old enough if he had not been blinded by the pride of his intelligence in solving the riddle of the Sphinx. But, then, the prophecies of the oracle would have been fulfilled in some other way, because nothing could have been prevented their fulfillment. Pride has little to do with Oedipus's killing his father and marrying his mother.

If Oedipus had not relentlessly pursued his investigations, he might have been spared the shock of discovery. Something in him drives him forward on the road to discovery. After Teiresias has first refused to tell him anything and then uttered some frightening prophecies. Oedipus is discouraged by Jocasta to continue his investigations. But he pays no heed to her philosophy of living at random. She makes another effort to stop his investigations when she has herself realized the truth, but again she failed. The Theban shepherd too tries, but in vain. It is this insistence on the truth that leads to the discovery in which lies the tragedy. We may interrupt this insistence on the truth as a form of pride, the pride of intellect, or the pride of knowing everything. The link of cause and effect is unmistakable between Oedipus's pride of intellect and Oedipus's discovery for his sins. But there is no strong link between his pride and the actual committing of his sins because the sins would have been committed in any case, if the oracle was to be fulfilled. The oracle did say that Oedipus would be guilty of those crimes but no oracle said that Oedipus must discover the truth.

Oedipus is thus an authentic tragic hero in the Aristotelian sense because his tragedy is as much due to his own initiatives in discovering the truth as to external circumstances. To the modern mind, a high social position is not necessary for the tragic hero nor do they recognize the validity of oracles too.

In Oedipus we see the helplessness of man in the face of the circumstances and his essential greatness. The manner in which Oedipus blinds himself after realizing his guilt and in which he endures his punishment raise him high in our esteem. The spirit of Oedipus remains unconquered even in his defeat and that is the essential fact about a tragic hero.

Comparison between Oedipus Rex and Medea

In Medea, a tragedy written by Euripides, the focus is on conflict in human spirit between Medea's love for her children and the desire for revenge. The story of Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, is very different and more complex. He uses dramatic irony and close comparison to make the audience think and to try to figure out the meanings behind the words. 
The plot is the most important aspect of the tragedy. Aristotle tells us that a plot is a representation of an action and must be presented as a unified whole. The plot of Oedipus Rex has a beginning, middle and an end.
In the play Medea, the reader can see the possible outcome of the tragedy in the very beginning. There is not much higher development in this play.

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Greek Tragedy

Blog on The definition of a tragedy according to Artistotle and the The tragedies of Oedipus Rex and Medea.


-Shreya Shyamsunder

"A tragedy, then, is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in language with pleasurable acces­sories, each kind brought in separately in the parts of the work; in a dramatic, not in a narrative form; with in­cidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions."

"Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action of high importance, complete and of some ampli­tude; in language enhanced by distinct and varying beauties; acted not narrated; by means of pity and fear effectuating its purgation of these emotions." (L. J. Potts: 24).

            Excepting the famous concepts of "unit of time" (or length of tragedy) and "character's flaw" (or hamartia), probably there's not other concept or part in Aristotle's Poetics as puzzling and celebrated as the famous definition of tragedy.

In his Poetics, Aristotle outlined the ingredients necessary for a good tragedy, and based his formula on what he considered to be the perfect tragedy, Sophocles's Oedipus the King. According to Aristotle, a tragedy must be an imitation of life in the form of a serious story that is complete in itself; in other words, the story must be realistic and narrow in focus.

A good tragedy will evoke pity and fear in its viewers, causing the viewers to experience a feeling of catharsis. Catharsis, in Greek, means "purgation" or "purification"; running through the gamut of these strong emotions will leave viewers feeling elated, in the same way we often claim that crying might ultimately make you feel better.

Aristotle also outlined the characteristics of an ideal tragic hero. He must be "better than we are," a man who is superior to the average man in some way. In Oedipus's case, he is superior not only because of social standing, but also because he is smart: he is the only person who could solve the Sphinx's riddle. At the same time, a tragic hero must evoke both pity and fear, and Aristotle claims that the best way to do this is if he is imperfect. A character with a mixture of good and evil is more compelling that a character who is merely good. And Oedipus is far from perfect; although a clever man, he is blind to the truth and stubbornly refuses to believe Teiresias's warnings. Although he is a good father, he unwittingly fathered children in incest. A tragic hero suffers because of his hamartia, a Greek word that is often mistakenly translated as "tragic flaw" but really means "mistake". Oedipus' mistake - killing his father at the crossroads - is made unknowingly. Indeed, for him, there is no way of escaping his fate.

Hubris is translated as excessive pride. This term inevitably comes up almost every time you talk about a piece of ancient Greek literature. There's no denying that Oedipus is a proud man. Of course, he's got pretty good reason to be. He's the one that saved Thebes from the Sphinx. If he hadn't come along and solved the Sphinx's riddle, the city would still be in the thrall of the creature. It seems that Oedipus rightly deserves the throne of Thebes.


As far as heroic or non heroic behaviour is concerned the battle between good and evil seems to always be waged. In contrasting Oedipus and Medea we see this battle again, but with a twist because the tales both end in tragedy. The question is, however, in keeping with our discussion of heroes, whether or not a heroic behaviour is displayed by either Oedipus or Medea during the battles. The answer is yes and no. There are many differences between Oedipus and Medea but in the end they ultimately destroy everything around them that they love the most because of the wrong choices they make in the face of anger. First of all however Medea does display some heroic qualities by showing that she is willing to do whatever is necessary to get the job done. In this case it was to be with Jason. As discussed before heroes are clever and resourceful. Medea certainly was both. Instead of using brut force to accomplish her plans, Medea uses her mind instead. Physical strength is always impressive but Medea uses cleverness and intelligence which are more impressive as heroic qualities. Things change a bit though when she poisons the King of Corinth with the poison gifts taken to him by her children. This plan makes Medea into the perfect villain. In this role of villain Medea's behaviour is then seen as cunning and manipulative and alternates between rational and irrational, and in the end is just plain evil. On the other hand Oedipus' downfall was his heroic quality of always seeking the truth no matter the cost. It was the need for truth that caused him to consult the oracle and learn about 

the prophecy. This need for truth caused his sins to be revealed to the world. As with all heroes he would not stop until he had what he was after. He was not to be stopped until he had it. He sought the truth in the end though it was his pride that was responsible for his downfall. Pride was responsible for him not stepping aside at the crossroads. Heroes need to know when to use good judgment. Oedipus did not use good judgment. He let pride over ride that. It was pride that caused him to want to solve sphinx's riddle which helped fulfill the second part of the tragic prophecy. Also his pride played a part in his eagerness to find Laius's killer, believing that he was the only one who could do it and he wanted to show it off. Both Medea and Oedipus' downfalls were also pushed by the lack of good judgment in making the right choices and extreme anger to the point of rage when things did not go as they were suppose to. They were both placed in situations where they reacted with such rage it clouded their judgment. Fate was also a huge part of it seemingly. But as far as fate goes, it seems like Oedipus was forever running away from his fate by trying to escape the oracle's prophecy. One the other hand Medea was generally cold, manipulative and ruthless; She knew her mind well and did exactly what she wanted; she was leaving nothing to fate. Oedipus and Medea proved in both situations that in the end any action or choice comes with responsibility and consequences. 

Blog on The definition of a tragedy according to Artistotle and the The tragedies of Oedipus Rex and Medea.