The Strong Character And Unavoidable Destiny Of Oedipus Rex

980 words - 4 pages

The Strong Character and Unavoidable Destiny of Oedipus Rex


Oedipus the King, by Sophocles is about Oedipus, a man doomed by his fate. Like most tragedies, Oedipus the King contains a tragic hero, a heroic figure unable to escape his own doom. This tragic hero usually has a hamartia, a tragic flaw, which causes his downfall. The tragic flaw that Sophocles gives Oedipus is hubris (exaggerated pride or self-confidence), which is what caused Oedipus to walk right into the fate he sought to escape. Oedipus' pride pushes him toward his tragic end in the initial journey, when he kills his father, in the episode of the sphinx, and in his adamant search for truth.


 Pride like ...view middle of the document...

  Also, in trying to avoid his destiny, he got into an argument over a small right of way incident. Had he just swallowed his pride and let the carriage have the right of way, he could have avoided everything.


            He showed his arrogance in the beginning of the story when he spoke to Teiresias. He said:


 When the dark singer, the sphinx, was in your country, did you speak word of deliverance to its citizens? And yet the riddle's answer was no the province of a chance comer. It was a prophet's task and plainly you had no such gift of prophecy from birds nor otherwise from any Fod to glean a word of Knowledge. But I came, Oedipus, who knew nothing, and I stopped her. I solved the riddle by my wit alone. Mine was no knowledge got from birds (Pg. 27, 1.391-9).


            Oedipus knew that even the most intelligent men of Thebes had been killed attempting to answer the riddle. When he answered the riddle, he proved his intelligence was superior to theirs. When Oedipus solved the riddle it was fuel for his arrogance. He just became completely cavalier and even more self confident then before. It was because of this that he was brought to a tragic end.


            Even as the pieces of the puzzle were coming together and Oedipus was beginning to learn of what had happened to him his inner colors were shining. When Jocasta, his wife, knew that he was about to find out something that would forever change him, she said to him: "I beg you-do not hunt this out-I beg you, if you have any care for your own life. What I am suffering is enough" (57, 1.1060-2). Oedipus let his arrogance make his decision and...

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