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Oedipus The King Essay Relevance

The Role of Pride in Sophocles' Oedipus the King Essay

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“Oh my children, the new blood of ancient Thebes, why are you here?” said Oedipus when addressing his people during his first appearance (1-2). Flamboyant, yes, well in Oedipus the King, the main character Oedipus is a boastful and pompous character faced with troublesome pasts and future predicaments. In actuality, he is king of Thebes and the rightful ruler, but when a plague strikes he is quickly led into a misfortune of events that ultimately leads him to dig his eyes out in attempt to relieve him from the truth he discovers. It then becomes a revelation to distinguish the characteristic fault which leads Oedipus through such tragedy. Only to become apparent, Oedipus’s excessive pride is the main culprit behind his tragic ending. In…show more content…

When Oedipus hears that he is the killer, his pride is wounded for he cannot accept the truth. His judgment is so blurred that he also begins to view Creon as a traitor for using Tiresias. Creon’s words sum up Oedipus’s rage when he said, “Oedipus, your husband, he’s bent on a choice of punishments for me, banishment from the fatherland or death” (715-717). Jocasta is even surprised with Oedipus’s unusual character, as she said, “For the love of God, Oedipus, tell me too, what is it? Why this rage? You’re so unbending” (767-769). The reason why Oedipus pride is so wounded can be because his negative experiences with the Gods. As a baby, he was condemned to death, yet he survived and learned the horrible truth of his prophecy. In attempt to escape that life, he lost belief in the word of the gods because he refused that the prophecies should come true. This struggle between God and Oedipus only tears his moral beliefs as he has to be stone cold to survive his tribulations. This meant giving no consideration against people who presently posed a great threat to him. Ironically, due to Oedipus unflinching pride and stubbornness, he rolls the ball which unfolds a horrific chain of sequences. Had Oedipus been less stubborn and prideful, he might have never prompted Jocasta to reassure him, while in reality she was giving him the world’s worst news. As Jocasta reveals the truth behind Laius’s death, an oddly connection appears in

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The above answer is excellent, so I will offer another take:

Oedipus is the noblest of tragic heroes.  Even today, we can learn from his suffering and stubborn pursuit of truth.  Whereas lesser tragic heroes might have committed suicide (like Antigone, Othello, and his wife-mother Jocasta), Oedipus blinds himself for not knowing the truth.  In this act, he both punishes and purges himself, in effect taking responsibility for his crimes and lack of self-knowledge (as...

The above answer is excellent, so I will offer another take:

Oedipus is the noblest of tragic heroes.  Even today, we can learn from his suffering and stubborn pursuit of truth.  Whereas lesser tragic heroes might have committed suicide (like Antigone, Othello, and his wife-mother Jocasta), Oedipus blinds himself for not knowing the truth.  In this act, he both punishes and purges himself, in effect taking responsibility for his crimes and lack of self-knowledge (as he promised from the beginning of the play).  Later, in Oedipus at Colonus, Oedipus becomes a kind of Tiresias, a blind prophet, and the townspeople welcome him as an emblem of dignity in suffering.

Also, Oedipus Rex teaches us that all of our families have skeletons in the closet.  How well do we know our mothers and fathers?  What secrets have they hidden from us?  More, are we destined to make those same mistakes with our children?  Will we inevitably end up like our parents no matter how hard we try to avoid it?  These are eternal questions which Oedipus Rex poses to its readers in every century.  Just ask Hamlet, Orestes, the Loman brothers (Death of s Salesman), and Luke Skywalker.

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