Born into a royal family, Oedipus was one of the bearers of a disastrous generational curse. He had no idea what he was born into, or what he would become. Poor Oedipus was put into to the world to serve as an example from the gods. Although Oedipus was said to be a victim of fate, he contributed to his own fate more than the gods. He was placed into the world to with a prophecy that he will kill his father and married his mother and conceive children with her, but that was just a prophecy not his destiny. Oedipus could have determined a new destiny for himself, but instead he did more things to make the prophecy true rather than false. The life of Oedipus was a great tragedy, not only for him but for his entire family. Although the gods may have set a prophecy for Oedipus future, Oedipus contribute mostly to his destiny.
Oedipus is depicted as a “marionette in the hands of a daemonic power”(pg150), but like all tragic hero’s he fights and struggles against fate even when the odds are against him. His most tragic flaw is his morality, as he struggles between the good and the evil of his life. The good is that he was pitied by the Shepard who saved him from death as a baby. The evil is his fate, where he is to kill his father and marry his mother. His hubris or excessive pride and self-righteousness are the lead causes to his downfall. Oedipus is a tragic hero who suffers the consequences of his immoral actions, and must learn from these mistakes. This Aristotelian theory of tragedy exists today, as an example of what happens when men and women that fall from high positions politically and socially.
His pride gets him into a lot of bad situations. The ultimate downfall of Oedipus is that he is unwilling to accept is fate. This drives him throughout the whole story to get down to the bottom of numerous questions. Such as, who killed his father? What is his fate and how can he avoid it? Also he was questioning the loyalty of his brother-in-law, Creon. Oedipus is genuinely concerned by the damage the plague is doing to his people and seeks to help. Creon informs him that the plague is the result of King Laius's murder and that the murderer must be found and killed or expelled. Oedipus seeks counsel from Teiresias the prophet. However, the prophet is afraid of divulging the truth about the situation. Reason being is because the prophet knows that Oedipus is guilty of killing his father. However, even though Oedipus has done many things that are frowned upon, the reader has to
However, consumed by his desire to seek knowledge, Oedipus ironically ignores all of the signs that point toward the truth. One such instance is when he is speaking to Jocasta, and she mentions how “[Oedipus is] doomed / – may [he] never fathom who [he is]!” (Sophocles, 1173-1174). Regardless of how closely related and similar both his and Laius’s predictions from the Oracle of Delphi are, Oedipus ignores the absolute truth. Another such instance is when Jocasta mentions how Laius had been “killed by strangers,/ thieves, at a place where three roads meet” (Sophocles 789-790). Although Oedipus recognizes that he had also killed a man at a crossroads, he refuses to believe the truth. Mr. Weil mentions how, despite most scholars believing Oedipus journeys from ignorance to knowledge, “his ignorance is self-willed. Oedipus has been told the truth and he has refused to recognize it-or even test it” (Weil). Anyone can see the validity of this statement once all of the hints and comments of Oedipus’s heritage are presented. He is consistently given the opportunity to accept the truth but he rejects any possibility. “The play is a tragedy not of divine fate but of human knowing”
As a tragedy Oedipus the King spends the majority of the play discovering who he is, without knowing exactly what is occurring. The tragedy was that he suffered the improbabilities of murdering his father and then marrying his mother, it is a tail of his revelations about his past, and the events that led him to his ultimate fall. In this play, Sophocles illustrated a world of human frailty, pride, and punishment, which helped to propel, with dreadful inevitability, a protagonist moving toward catastrophe. Oedipus is the direct cause of his own undoing, however it is not because he is evil, proud, or weak, but simply because he does not know his true past or who he is. The facts that he believes to be true are unraveled, thus revealing his fate. Oedipus meets the first criterion of a Greek tragedy, which is that the protagonist is a good person. Oedipus has both a good he...
In the story of “Oedipus the King” by Sophocles portrays theme, symbolism, and imagery. With these in mind, they had influence the character to do a few things we wouldn’t normally be doing in today’s society. By showing us the way he acts leads us to knowing the difference between what is right and wrong. Back in the day, we never knew what was shown as being truthful unless someone told you. So not realizing the importance role Oedipus plays is has a significant impact on the audience’s reactions.
Sophocles uses a mixture of both visual and emotional imagery to create the morally questioning, Greek tragedy ‘Oedipus Tyrannos’. He presents the audience with an intense drama, which addresses the reality and importance of the gods that the Greeks fervently believed in. The play also forces the audience to ask themselves if there is such a concept as fate.
Even though Oedipus is praised by many for his courage against the Sphinx, he is still human like everyone else, and every human has flaws. Oedipus’s flaws sadly lead to his death and shame to his family. His daughters would now suffer the burden of being related to Oedipus, the man who killed his own father and married his wife. With the supporting evidence it is obvious that Oedipus’s arrogance, stubbornness, and blindness brought him down to misery in Sophocles’s surprising play Oedipus Rex.
The Greeks were one of the most powerful empires of early civilizations with the well documented conquest, legends, gods, etc. One of their most significant things left of their empire, is their theatrical style, none bigger than Tragedy. The Greek Tragedy was their basis of Drama and is still studied today. Their view of the world and life could be personified in the plays and by the personages. It is the case in the play Oedipus Tyrannos. The play, written by Sophocles, represents the typical Greek view of the world with all the values that the Greeks wanted to show. This play is probably the best example to represent the typical tragic hero, in that case Oedipus. The dominant theme that Sophocles wanted to demonstrate in the play was the concept of fate and how nobody was able to escape it, not even the most prestigious people. Fate was extremely important for the Greeks because it related directly from the gods, the most powerful aspect of their existence. As a typical tragic hero, Oedipus has doomed himself to have a fatal fate by his consistent efforts to avoid his fate and also because of the human side in him that tried to protect him from it. Eventually, Oedipus could not escape what the Gods had written in time for his life. This paper will try to prove this statement by looking at Oedipus as the tragic hero and the representation of the concept of fate in Oedipus Tyrannos by looking at Oedipus.
Throughout the story, Oedipus' haste or lack of patience is most evident. Wishing to end this mystery of the death of Laios as quickly as possible, Oedipus passes an edict to kill or exile anyone who withholds information. Teiresias tested Oedipus' patience in the beginning of the story with the information he was holding; "You'd try a stone's patience!
(Sophocles 1.375-1.377) In hopes of having the prophecy changed, Oedipus argued to Tiresias that what he was being told was a lie. At this point in the story, Oedipus was searching for answers of who murdered Laius, the former king of THEBES. Based on the actions Oedipus has taken during his argument with Tiresias, his true character traits are revealed. Oedipus displays stubbornness during this conversation because of his denial of the situation. It is made clear the Oedipus is blind from the truth, however, it is his denial of the truth that ultimately causes his stubbornness. It can be assumed that Oedipus will still attempt to change his fate because of his disbelief in his fate. Although Oedipus will try to prevent his fate from coming true, one can clearly acknowledge it will be leading Oedipus to his
In the play Oedipus we can see how Oedipus innocence leads him to his tragic destiny. The main universal conflict is man vs himself. Tiresias, or the wise old man plays a curtail part . Tiresias is ancient, but knows all...he appears in the story to advise Oedipus. As Tiresias said in a menacing tone, “How terrible it is to know...no good comes of knowing,”(Sophocles 14). If Oedipus just would just have put his curiosity to the side maybe things would have not taken such a harsh turn. Oedipus is the tragic hero who is blinded by his own innocence. In addition, his anger and stubbornness which is part of morals/personality is a key detail. This leads to him killing his father unknowingly at a young age fulfilling the prophecy and contributing to the resolution. Another archetype that is relevant is that of Laios and Jocasta which is bad parenting. They get rid of Oedipus as a child and by doing this they play out the prophecy. This shows their clearly shows how ignorant they are. Instead of taking on the “problem” they simply throw it away and let it grow up into a even bigger problem. This is prime example of a key detail contributing to the tragic hero’s journey. If it was not for abandoning Oedipus he would have not have been presented the same situations, thus leading to the end resolution. Since the key details were presented in this way they molded their morals thus giving us the tragic
Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, the dramatic tragedy of a cursed king, describes the flawed character of a tragic hero through many literary elements to evoke catharsis upon its third person audience. At his birth, the gods bestow a particular curse upon Oedipus that would lead to future utter destruction upon himself and those surrounding him. His presence as king implants famine, barrenness, and disease upon Thebes and its people. However, Oedipus is not always aware that he is the pollution of the land, even when the audience is. The irony and theme throughout the tragedy of Oedipus help describe the character of Oedipus himself, thus identifying his tragic flaws of ignorance, arrogance, and anger that ultimately lead to his destruction.
Through the character of Oedipus, Sophocles shows the futility and consequences of defying the divine order. Oedipus served Thebes as a great ruler, loved by his subjects; but it is his one tragic flaw, hubris, which dooms his existence, regardless of the character attributes that make him such a beloved king.