To What Extent is Oedipus Responsible for His Own Downfall? Essay

To What Extent is Oedipus Responsible for His Own Downfall? Essay

Length: 802 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

A special attribute of Greek tragedy is that the central character is known to have a tragic imperfection that contribute to the fall of the character. In the play Oedipus Rex this characteristic is not an exception. Nevertheless, until what point was Oedipus responsible for his own downfall? There are many theories that can give an answer to this question. Was it destiny or a manipulation of the gods? Or was it a punishment for his actions to his parents? Was anyone else responsible for his downfall too (Jocasta, Laius)? In this essay I will prove that even though he is not the only one to blame for his downfall, he is the major person responsible for his ruin.

We can not make him responsible for acting in the way he did. If we were in his position I am sure that everyone will act like him. He did not know about his past and because of that it is hard to believe when people said that he was going to kill his father and sleep with his mother. He lived his life without knowing about his past and so we can not hold him responsible. In fact, we should guilt Jocasta because she knew everything and did nothing to stop because she is very skeptical about prophesies.

JOCASTA: A prophet? Well then, free yourself of every charge! Listen to me and learn some peace of mind: no skill in world, nothing human can penetrate the future. Here is proof, quick and to the point.

An oracle to Laius one fine day (I won't say from Apollo himself but his underlings, his priests) and it said that doom would strike him down at the hands of a son, our son, to be born of our own flesh and blood. (Line 779-787)

In this quote we can clearly see that Jocasta knew about the prophesy and she did not believe on it. Even when her husband...

... middle of paper ...

...ish himself from Thebes? My explanation to this is that he has gave his word to do what the gods commanded. "The god? His command was clear, every word: death for the father killer, the curse - he said destroy me." (Line 1575) This quote make it clear for us that for him keeping his word is supreme above everything else. Oedipus downfall is not the result of fate or a punishment because of his sins, but rather the result of keeping his word, and he takes responsibility of it. In this way he remains true to his word as an strong, honorable, and courageous man. He remain true to his culture and keeps his word against fate.

In conclusion, as we see that he is not the only one to blame for his downfall, he is the major person responsible for his ruin. We clearly see that the combination of all these factors make the perfect atmosphere for his downfall to happened.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Macbeth 's Responsible For His Own Downfall

- Macbeth To What Extent Macbeth Responsible for His Own Downfall. Macbeth is about a Lord whose life is disturbed by three witches, whose prophesies results in Macbeth to commit actions that lead to his downfall. Macbeth demonstrates many mental abnormalities during the course of the play, such as delusions, hallucinations, paranoia and warped personality. Which are all symptoms of schizophrenia, which I argue Macbeth has, and the events that unfold lead his condition to worsen and his mental health deteriorate, causing his twisted actions....   [tags: Macbeth, Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Macbeth]

Good Essays
1709 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on Othello Was Responsible For His Downfall

- Who is responsible for Othello’s downfall. I believe the fact that Othello got jealous easily makes it easy for him to get manipulated. Moreover, he trusted a man under his command and believed whatever Iago told him, showing his naïve. These make many presume Othello himself is responsible for his failure. In my eye he should hold the responsibility to his own downfall. That Othello avoided assigning any blame to Iago finishes him off. In the end, Othello made terrible mistakes that were not intentionally cruel....   [tags: Othello, Iago, Michael Cassio, Desdemona]

Good Essays
1183 words (3.4 pages)

The Downfall of Oedipus Essay examples

- Sophocles life lasted from 497 BC-405 BC. Throughout his 92 years of being, he managed to write many tragic plays and one on his most famous ones is, Oedipus Rex. In, Oedipus Rex, he introduces to us Oedipus as king of Thebes only to end the play having this same king, as a blind beggar. His downfall is not linked to any other character in the play; so the only person to blame is Oedipus. Oedipus’s flaws resulted on having him end the play as a blinded beggar. Even though Oedipus is a victim of fate, his arrogance, attention to Thebe’s people and his search of certainty will be flaws leading to his tragic ending....   [tags: Greek Literature]

Good Essays
764 words (2.2 pages)

Macbeth is Responsible for His Own Destruction Essay

- In accordance with the Aristotelian tragedy, the hamartia of the character Macbeth is undeniably through his own flaw. William Shakespeare, in his play Macbeth, historically portrays the nobility of the protagonist and his gradual descent into an ambitious fiend whose disregard for the great chain of being cost him his honour, wife and status. Through his interference with fate, succumbing to the voice of his wife rather than reason and ambition are the catalysts for his fall from grace. An interference with fate and destiny is sure to cause chaos....   [tags: William Shakespeare, Literary Analysis]

Good Essays
883 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Edward Ii - To What Extent Is Edward Responsible For His Own

- ‘Edward II plantagenet King of England, Whose incompetence and distaste for government finally led to His deposition and murder.’ The Elizabethan drama, Christopher Marlowe’s, Edward the Second is, according to Aristotle’s definition of the word, a tragedy. That is to say it concerns the fall of a great man because of a mistake he has made or a flaw in his character. During this essay I will demonstrate how this definition of tragedy applies to Edward II. Edward II was king of England, and reigned from 1307 to 1327, as a prince he had developed a close, possibly homosexual, relationship with a base commoner of very low social standing named Piers de Gaveston....   [tags: essays research papers]

Good Essays
2072 words (5.9 pages)

The Marian Reforms Responsible For The Fall Of The Roman Republic Essay

- To what extent were the Marian reforms responsible for the fall of the Roman republic. During the last century of the Roman republic, the system of government was drastically changed and eventually fell apart, not only because of Marius and his military reforms, but also because of the dictatorship and proscriptions of Sulla, seven consulships of Marius, political alliances of the first and second triumvirates and the growing corruption and ineptitude of the senate. By allowing more people into the army, giving them a personal reason to join, and forcing them to grow stronger, Marius made the military considerably more effective, which naturally lead to the swift gaining of territory and the...   [tags: Julius Caesar, Roman Republic, Roman Empire]

Good Essays
1878 words (5.4 pages)

To what extent did the Conservatives lose the election rather than the Liberals win the election? “The election of 1906 was a significant watershed

- Tom Gatenby To what extent did the Conservatives lose the election rather than the Liberals win the election. “The election of 1906 was a significant watershed in the political history of Britain” Kenneth Owen Fox The election of 1906 was a landside victory for the Liberal Party. This is due to many factors, it could been influenced by the manifesto of the Liberal Party, or perhaps even more strongly the failure of the Conservative Party to unify on such reforms as the Tariff Reform....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
1236 words (3.5 pages)

Shakespeare's Presentation of Othello as Responsible for his Own Downfall

- Shakespeare's Presentation of Othello as Responsible for his Own Downfall Shakespeare’s Othello consists of the themes betrayal, love and dishonesty. At the centre of this play is the tragic downfall of Othello at the hands of his so called friend Iago. In this essay I will be discussing the reasons for and against Othello being responsible for his downfall through looking at critical interpretations of his character and actions. In some ways you could say that Othello was highly responsible for his own downfall as he was easily manipulated by Iago showing him to be gullible and naïve....   [tags: Shakespeare Othello]

Free Essays
1503 words (4.3 pages)

Macbeth Was Responsible For His Own Downfall Essay

- Macbeth is the driving force behind Macbeth’s downfall Lady Macbeth. The driving force behind Macbeth’s downfall. Certainly not. Macbeth was completely and solely responsible for all the acts of great evil which were to lead to his downfall, and to even suggest the blame can be shifted on his wife is ludicrous. From his very first meeting with the witches, Macbeth’s mind became instantly plagued with thoughts of murder and treachery. The guilty start that Banquo noticed: "Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear Things that do sound so fair?…" showed us that the thought of murder was already at the back of his mind....   [tags: essays research papers]

Good Essays
1551 words (4.4 pages)

MacBeth is Responsible for His Downfall Essay

- MacBeth is Responsible for His Downfall   There were many wrongs committed in "MacBeth." But who should bear the major responsibility for these actions. The witches' prophesising. Lady MacBeth's scheming and persuasion. Or should MacBeth himself be held responsible. No doubt the witches and lady MacBeth influenced MacBeth in the course of action he took in his rise to power, but ultimately he must bear the major responsibility for his fate.   The witches played an undoubtedly large role in MacBeth, being the instigators of the entire plot....   [tags: Macbeth essays]

Good Essays
685 words (2 pages)