Theme Of Pride In Oedipus The King

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Greek politician and playwright, Sophocles, in his play, Oedipus the King, depicts a series of chronological events of the consequences of Oedipus’ downfall caused by his excessive pride. Sophocles’ purpose is to instruct readers that too much pride can dismally lead to unfortunate events. Sophocles illustrates an effective tone in order to inform the readers of the negative outcomes of stubbornness and denial. Oedipus’ pride and stubbornness is blinding him from the truth. Pride is an emotion or yawning desire of gratification resulting from one’s own accomplishments. Because of his victory of conquering the Sphinx by solving its riddle, Oedipus pride risen tremendously. Not only does he have this great self-awareness about himself, but the…show more content…
For example Oedipus says, “you pray to the gods? Let me grant your prayers” (line 245). By Oedipus making this statement, it is apparent that he feels as if he is on the same level as the gods. This explains that Oedipus thinks that he has the power to do godly things because he doubts the gods’ power and authority by questioning the people’s faith. Again, Sophocles illustrates in a chronological demonstration of the happenings of Oedipus’ downfalls. Portraying to be an equal to the gods is his first mistake that leads to a tragic ending. His pride is blinding him from seeing the truth and holding him back from what he really needs to know. Saving the city heightened his pride but also made him stubborn towards certain situations. For instance Oedipus says, “not if I saved the city- what do I care?” (line 503). Oedipus is referring to the defeat of the Sphinx and relating…show more content…
Rejecting the truth and being oblivious to all of the apparent signs will lead to his disastrous end. Sophocles expresses the next chronological action of Oedipus’ mistakes that tragically ruins him. Denial is the act of proclaiming that something is not true. Ironically, Oedipus often does this when the truth is presented to him. He lets his pride get in the way and builds a wall to protect his ego. For example, Oedipus says “much as you want. Your words mean nothing-futile” (lines 416). This is the scene where Tiresias finally revealed the truth to Oedipus because of his persistent desire to know. Tiresias told Oedipus that he was the one responsible for Laius’ death. Oedipus quickly dismissed the acquisition, once again letting his pride blind him from the truth. While at the same time, his stubbornness is getting in the way of listening to Tiresias. By Oedipus making this statement, it is clear that he is too stubborn to hear what anyone else has to say, especially if it is negative. It is also very ironic how in the beginning, Oedipus badly wanted Tiresias to tell him what information he knew about Laius’ killing, but when Tiresias was forced to say it, Oedipus immediately silenced Tiresias. Oedipus did not want to listen to him nor did he give him a chance to explain. He also accuses other people and puts the blame on them whenever he is uneasy

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