The Hubris of Oedipus in Oedipus the King Essay

The Hubris of Oedipus in Oedipus the King Essay

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Hubris is defined by the Webster-Miriam dictionary as “Exaggerated pride or confidence” (Miriam-Webster Dictionary) in Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, In Oedipus The King, by Sophocles, the onslaught of pain assailing the protagonist is a result of his tragic flaw. Sophocles often used a characters’ flaw to alter or influence the outcome or future of the hero. Oedipus' hubris influences him to fulfill the oracle and further intensify his punishment from the Gods.
Oedipus' pride is an essential characteristic throughout the play. Even before Oedipus came into power as the King of Thebes he allowed his arrogance to control his judgment and reign over his actions. Oblivious to his knowledge, Oedipus fulfills Apollo's oracle when he encounters a band of men at a crossroad. The driver offends Oedipus as he brushes by, inciting Oedipus' anger. Although the contact is just a slight intrusion, Oedipus, outraged that someone would have the gall to trouble him and ends up killing all of them. “A thief, so daring, so wild, he’d kill a king? Impossible unless conspirators paid him off in Thebes.” (p. 621 ln.140-142) in which unknowingly Oedipus is describing himself, as he recalls the incident to his wife and biological mother Jocasta he is not remorseful for the loss of life nor for his part in the crime. Instead, Oedipus comes off as that he is satisfied that he had taken revenge. Had his arrogance and pride not interfered, Oedipus would not have made the rash decision to kill all of the party and in turn, wouldn’t have fulfilled Apollo’s oracle that was made to Laius and Jocasta.
Oedipus' self-confidence blinds him to the point that evading fate predestined by the gods is impossible. His pride begins to catch up to him little do...


... middle of paper ...


...he blinds himself.” (Green qt. Frank pg. 2) Oedipus finally meets his fate that was brought upon by his hubris throughout the play, he is blinded and spends the rest of his days wandering aimlessly.
In conclusion, Oedipus’s pride, or hubris was the tragic flaw throughout the play that ultimately led him to the state he finds himself in at the end of the play. As John Weigel puts it “The play is not a tragedy of fate. Not only does the protagonist act freely, but his own character is essential to events. The oracles set in motion a group of free mortals whose encounters are governed partly by their own choices, partly by apparent chance. As so often, causes seem to be both divine and human. “ (Weigel, p. 731) However, Oedipus is still a tragic hero because he eventually becomes aware of his faults (after great loss) and accepts responsibility for his actions.


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