While his intentions were well meaning in the beginning, Oedipus finds himself weighed down by his own flaws. Tragically his flaws cause him to lose focus of his true objectives and damn himself to a life of misery. The tale of Oedipus depicts his rapid descent from Oedipus, savior and king of Thebes to Oedipus Tyrannus the man who slew his father and married his mother. Since Oedipus has so many tragic flaws there is a plethora to choose from. However, if Oedipus’s tragic traits could be described with two words it would be arrogant and imperceptive. First, Oedipus is arrogant. Additionally, Oedipus is imperceptive.
To begin, Oedipus is arrogant. There are many instances throughout the play where Oedipus’s arrogance is outstanding. For example, he assumes because he solved the sphinx’s riddle that he can solve anything, including solving who killed King Laios. When Oedipus finds the matter of king Laios’s death to be his duty as king, he haughtily proclaims: “Then once more I must bring dark to light” (Sophocles. Oedipus. Epilogue. 963). He thinks he is so amazing that he is the only one clever enough to solve the mystery of who killed king Laios. This is not the first or only time he exudes this amount of arrogance. He quickly jumps to conclusions when explaining why finding king Laios’s killer is so important “Whoever has killed King Laios might--who knows? --/ Decide at any moment to kill me as well/ By avenging the murdered king I protect myself” (Epilogue. 963). To Oedipus his king slayers must have an agenda and believes he is important enough to be next on their hit list. Despite this being a drastic conclusion, he thinks so highly of himself that to him this is the only logical conclusion. However, thi...
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...te the fact that the answer was right in front of him. Oedipus’s lack of perception is the final key to seal his miserable and tragic fate.
In conclusion, Oedipus’s arrogance and lack of perception makes him a tragic protagonist. To begin, Oedipus is arrogant. Additionally, he is oblivious. Oedipus would rather imagine himself as a god than see himself as a mere mortal at the fate of the gods he scorned. The truth is laid out in front of him but as Teiresias stated in the beginning, Oedipus is more blind with his two working eyes than he, a blind man. He cannot see the truth and he cannot see that his is not at the same level or above as the gods. But that does not stop him from acting as if he does see the real truth and he above all beings. However, he is painfully wrong in all of these assumptions and it leads to him living a miserable life the rest of his days.
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