Character Analysis Of Oedipus

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The ancient story documented in the writing Oedipus Tyrannus by Sophocles follows the story of a clever and strong hero who has tragedy befall him. He is fated to kill his father and marry his mother as a result of his father not heeding a warning from the gods. Upon discovering this, Oedipus blinds himself in excruciating guilt, to cut off his senses from the world around him. This guilt is not deserved by Oedipus because he committed the heinous crimes unwittingly he thus, making him innocent of the actions that spurn on the tragic events that occur. While Oedipus possesses some character flaws, they were not conducive to the tragedies that transpire. Rather, he is a heroic and just man who suffers for no fault of his own because of a curse…show more content…
The predominant priority in characterizing Oedipus throughout the play is in describing his strengths. This priority can only be explained by Sophocles striving to convey that Oedipus is to be viewed as a good and righteous person in both character and action rather than the one who caused the tragedy. Oedipus’s dedication to his word leads him to banishing himself after he realizes he is the one who has brought misfortune upon Thebes. The chorus of the play also frequently honors him and laments his tragedy, feeling truly mournful that the savior of Thebes is forced to suffer. After he saves Thebes from the terrorism and rises to lead successfully and justly, the people are trusting of him and give more note to his successes. Still, it must be noted that none of these acts result in Oedipus’s downfall. Only the killing of his father and marriage to his mother can be seen as the actions that cause his undoing. All other destructive actions by Oedipus in the play can only be taken after he commits these two terrible…show more content…
According to Jocasta, “Apollo said that he would die at the hand of a child-- of mine”, meaning that King Laius was warned that if he married Jocasta and had a child with her it would result in his own downfall. Laius, of course, disregards this warning, sentencing all characters to suffer for his misdeeds because he meets the conditions. Inversely, Oedipus’ punishing fate is resultant of this decision rather than of his own actions. He is the tool that must be used to bring calamity on the house of Thebes without option. On several occasions he does everything that he can to avoid misfortune, but in his attempts to avoid calamity, his resulting actions spurn on the inevitable. He is only able to use the information that he has obtained from the oracle to avoid fate and does so to the best ability in putting distance between himself and his supposed parents. On several occasions the chorus in the play reference that if Oedipus lives a life of suffering, then tragedy could befall anyone. In one example the chorus says, “Mighty Oedipus--... proof that none of us mortals can truly be thought of as happy”. It is understood that this quote indicates that when Oedipus is sentenced to tragedy, then fate and the gods of Sophocles’s play are proven to be fickle and able to cast anyone into
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