Determination is one of Oedipus’ great hamartias. Despite the importance of fate in Greek characters, Oedipus is often portrayed as stubbornly endeavoring to pursue his own goals. When news spreads that the King Laios had died to murder and that the only way to resolve this plague is to find his murderer, King Oedipus officially appoints himself as the chief investigator. He gives the people of Thebes the impression of being ready to help, and furthermore promises to assist in any way he can. Oedipus, as the King of Thebes, sees his responsibility and demands anyone who knows about the murder to come forth. Oedipus then says, "My spirit grieves for the city, for myself and all of you" (Sophocles 87). By uttering those words, Oedipus has fatefully condemned himself to suffering in the future. However, Oedipus fully confirms his flaw of determination by looking at all tasks as a riddle-solver. As a man who has solved the riddle of the Sphinx, he held himself at high intelligence and relied ...
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...ruth in locating Laios’ murderer in saying, “I’ll start again – I’ll bring it all to light myself! ” (Sophocles 167), thus imposing the idea that only he possesses the intelligence to find the real killer.
The roles of determination, impatience, and hubris, themes commonly presented in the great tragedy Oedipus Rex, do not only exalt the Greek nationalism present during Sophocles’ time, but also dictates the course of the story, evolving as its tragic protagonist moves through his ill-fated anguish. Through these three hamartias, King Oedipus is not only proven to be at fault for his own atrophy, but whose life is also deemed to be tragic. Due to the errors in judgement, his exaggerated pride, and suffering consequences of his deeds, the original self-righteous, overconfident attitude of Oedipus is burnt away, setting him apart as the true cause for his ruination.
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