Oedipus is classified as a tragic hero because he draws emotional support, respect and pity from readers throughout his physical and emotional journeys. Like other characters, Oedipus displays three main traits of tragic heroes, which include the ability to attach emotionally to readers and the ability to arouse feelings of fear and pity from audiences. Many consider Oedipus a likable character, but also one haunted by bad luck and misfortune.
Oedipus demonstrates ideal qualities of humans, including compassion and a strong sense of moral righteousness. He derives from a noble and wealthy background, which makes him a larger-than-life figure. His wealth and positive attributes earn Oedipus the respect of readers, and make his misfortunes all the more painful to readers.