Thinking before Acting: Analysis of Sophocles's Oedipus, The King

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Aristotle's rules of a tragedy state that the character of a tragedy should be good but not exceptionally amazing, he must not be a perfect character but instead they need to be the victim of a common flaw which is called 'Hamartia'. The idea that even the protagonist of a story can have a tragic flaw allows for the reader to have a stronger connection to the story and as a result it would be better interpreted by them their own way. In the play Oedipus the King by Sophocles the Hamartia displayed by Oedipus is that he makes very rash decisions without thinking of the consequences and this negatively his life and the people around him. Firstly the characters in the play are blinded by their pride and ambition, the Greek word for this is Hubris and it often shows protagonists who do not accept their reality and overestimate their own capabilities and this is most common in characters in positions of power. This pride and ambition is what makes people blind when making their decisions and they regret it in the future proving that it is better to think before acting. Furthermore, when one tries to alter fate by making decisions that go against it they turn out to be decisions that in reality will negatively impact them instead of changing their fate for the better. The play Oedipus the King is still relevant to today's society because of the demonstration of the effects of rash decision making, reminding us that it is better to think before acting. Throughout the play the character are used to send a message to the audience that decisions that are made without thinking always lead to negative outcomes. A person’s overbearing pride and ambition leads them to make rash decisions that make them regret why they did not think twice be... ... middle of paper ... ...mate themselves and become ignorant. Moreover, when a person tries to change fate by making decisions they will cause fate to come back and be worse than what is was meant to be before. This play shows us that although we make many decisions on a daily basis but we do not take into consideration the bigger picture and how those decisions will affect us in the future, the play Oedipus the King shows the implications of making decisions without thinking and hopefully teaches the lesson the readership. Works Cited Sophocles, and E. F. Watling. The Theban Plays: King Oedipus, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone. Harmondsworth, Eng.: Penguin, 1973. Print. DeANGELIS, Tori. "Why We Overestimate Our Competence." Http://www.apa.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2013. "Good Habits Formed at Youth Make All the Difference. | Philosiblog." Philosiblog. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2013.

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