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Oedipus - the One to Blame

In: English and Literature

Submitted By masons001
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Every man has several characteristics which define him, but not all of them are beneficial. If he is not careful, certain traits can lead to his downfall. This is the very thing that happens to Oedipus in Sophocles’ tragedy, Oedipus Rex. Unfortunately, Oedipus possesses several character traits that cause him to fulfil the oracle and undergo great suffering. Oedipus’ pride, impetuous behaviour and lack of insight ultimately determine his fate.

To begin, one of the main factors that lead to Oedipus’ fate is his excessive pride. After he solves the riddle of the Sphinx, his hubris swells to a new level. This leads him to believe that he is capable of solving any puzzle he might face, including the murder of Laius. After Creon tells Oedipus what the Gods require, Oedipus states to what extent he will go to avenge the previous king, Laius, as he proclaims, “No matter who he may be, he is forbidden shelter or intercourse with any man in all this country over which I rule; … Expelled from every house, unclean, accursed, in accordance with the word of the Pythian oracle” (32). This quote develops Oedipus as massively hubristic. It shows this as Oedipus takes this distinct, simple idea that Laius must be avenged and drags it out. He makes a huge presentation in front of the city and blows himself up as this hero that’s avenging the previous king. This also marks the beginning of Oedipus’ journey to discovering his fate and his downfall. Another example of how Oedipus’ pride led to his downfall can be found in the words of the chorus. After recounting the events that led up to Laius’ murder, and after Oedipus realizes that he may be Laius’ killer, the chorus states, “Pride breads the tyrant; swollen with ill-found booty, from castled height Pride tumbles to the pit, all footing lost” (49). Oedipus’ hubris causes him to act tyrannical. Because he didn’t pay any attention to…...

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