The Fall of A King

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Tragic heroes are depicted as characters that are brought down to their doom by their own hands, or in other words, their own attributes. Tragic heroes are found in all types of literatures, some examples being Jay Gatsby from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, whose self confidence and ambitiousness brings him to his end. Similarly, Romeo, from Shakespeare’s’ Romeo and Juliet, had a characteristic of fickleness in due course leads to his and his lover’s eventual. One of the earliest known tragic heroes is the Greek king, Oedipus from Oedipus Rex. He has many self traits that bring him to his end. In Sophocles’s revolutionary play Oedipus Rex, the protagonist Oedipus suffers a tragic downfall from glory due to his arrogance, stubbornness, and blindness to the obvious.
Oedipus’s arrogance increases his ego causing a negative outlook on life as he thinks that no one is giving him the credit he deserves. At the beginning of the play, Teiresias, the blind prophet, gets on Oedipus’s bad side because Oedipus denies the possibility his prophecy could be true. Oedipus feels that Teiresias is targeting him by making him responsible of the death of Laius. He attempts to down talk Teiresias’ credibility by bringing up one of his own achievements, which was solving the Sphinx’s riddle. Oedipus’s statement reveals his arrogance when he speaks to Teiresias, “When the hellcat the Sphinx was performing here, / What help were you to these people” (Sophocles, Oedipus Rex.1.1.377-378)? After hearing from Teiresias, Oedipus heads to Jocasta to talk about his prophecy and blames everything completely on Creon by complaining to his wife, “It is Creon’s work, / His treachery, his plotting against me” (Sophocles, Oedipus Rex.1.2.658-659). Oedipu...

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...a negative trait. If Oedipus was more alert to all the hints and clues, maybe the story would not have had many drastic occurrences like the suicide of Jocasta which led to the blindness of Oedipus.
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.

Works Cited

Albert, Susan Wittig. “Oedipus Rex by Sophocles.” World Literature. Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 301-71.print.

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