Free Essays - Impatience and Disrespect in Oedipus the King (Rex)

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Impatience and Disrespect in Oedipus the King

A bad attitude causes most fights between people. People showing disrespect by saying hurtful or crazy words without thinking them through upsets almost everyone. In the play, Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles, Oedipus was trying to find the murderer of his predecessor, King Laius. In doing so, Oedipus' impatience caused quarrels that brought out his paranoia and hot-temper.

Oedipus' impatience was flagrant during his search for Laius' assassin. Oedipus threatened the citizens of Thebes, the city in which Oedipus ruled, to come forward if they knew anything about the murder of Laius. "I order you, every citizen of the state where I hold throne and power: banish this man-whoever he may be-never shelter him, never speak a word to him, never make him partner to your prayers, your victims burned to gods..."(172). Oedipus was impatient to find Laius, and in his impatience he had no toleration for citizens hiding the criminal, even though the criminal was himself. Later on, Oedipus called on Tiresias, a blind prophet, to help find Laius' killer. Oedipus was trying to force Tiresias to tell the story that Tiresias was hiding. "Nothing! You, you scum of the earth, you'd enrage a heart of stone! You won't talk? Nothing moves you? Out with it, once and for all!"(178). Oedipus was so impatient with Tiresias that he insulted and degraded Tiresias. After speaking with Tiresias, Oedipus had a contention with his wife's brother, Creon. Oedipus had proclaimed Creon the assassin of Laius and created the plot of Creon's supposed wrongdoing. Oedipus exclaimed, "Then leave me alone-get out!"(198). Oedipus would not accept any other idea than Creon being the killer, so when Creon tried to defend himself, Oedipus grew impatient and sent Creon away. Oedipus' impatience was the spark for his paranoia. Without his impatience, Oedipus would not have jumped to so many harsh, offensive, and paranoid conclusions.

Oedipus' paranoia estranged him from people he was close to. One of the main examples of Oedipus' paranoia was the discussion he had with Tiresias. Oedipus came up with ideas in his head that Tiresias was more than what he seemed. "Oh I'll let loose, I have such fury in me-now I see it all.
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