Oedipus The King

Oedipus The King Oedipus the King: Appetite for Destruction Of all the tragedies that Greek playwright Sophocles created in his illustrious career, the one that stands out as his masterpiece, and quite possibly one of the greatest of all the Greek tragedies is Oedipus the King. The tragedy focuses on the life and downfall of the unfortunate King Oedipus, who was condemned by the oracle at an early age to murder his father and marry his mother. Despite the oracles grim prediction, Oedipus was responsible for his own downfall due to his overly proud and impetuous attitude, and his own intellect and diligence. In the polis of Thebes, Oedipus was the not only the king but he was also the hero of the community. The security and health of the community depended on him and he was expected to meet every urgent crisis with a plausible solution. He was celebrated for acting decisively and making decisions and then acting on them.With all his past accomplishments and achievements, Oedipus developed a strong sense of confidence, which fueled his over inflated ego.

Unfortunately, when circumstances did not turn out in his favor, such as in his conflict with Tiresias the blind prophet, Oedipus became rigid and refused to see the problem on any one elses terms except his own. Oedipus only wanted things to go the way he thought they should go. Whatever stood in his way he tried to overcome publicly and without any compromise from the opposing party, which was illustrated in his argument in front of the palace with Creon over the murder of the former King Laius.

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Ultimately his attitude of confidence with no compromises contributed to his disastrous and sad end. In most cases, intelligence and diligence are valuable traits to possess, but for Oedipus they contributed to his eventual downfall.Oedipus was known for being extremely intelligent and was very talented at solving riddles. To earn the right to be King of Thebes, Oedipus solved a riddle, which as a result removed a plague from the land. In the play, Oedipus is again faced with another plague in his kingdom and this time the riddle was to discover who murdered King Laius. Using his intelligence, he again solves the riddle, but tragically for Oedipus he discovers that he is the murderer and he ultimately has to punish himself for the crime.

Throughout his search all the people around him were urging him to use caution in his search, and even his wife Jocasta ordered him to abandon his quest, citing that the oracle was mistaken and was a hoax. Tragically, Oedipus would not compromise and he continued his search until finally his diligence in his quest led to his downfall. Oedipus was a confident and intelligent king who worked hard for the people and would stop at nothing to save his beloved Thebes and the people who resided there. Ironically, it was those respectable traits that ultimately contributed to Oedipus bringing his downfall upon himself.Theater Essays.

Oedipus the King

Oedipus HamartiaAristotle once said that a heros downfall must be a result of some tragic flaw within the character. This flaw was known as hamartia in the Greek world of Aristotle. Since Aristotle greatly admired Oedipus the King, many people believe that Oedipus must have had a prominent and complex hamartia. Discovering Oedipus hamartia within the play is not an easy task.

In fact, it is impossible to point out Oedipus hamartia since I do not believe that he has one. Everything that he says or does throughout the play is justifiable in one way or another. There is always some logical explanation behind his thoughts and actions and, thus, Oedipus does not have a tragic flaw in his character.There are a number of different points that one can analyze and claim to be Oedipushamartia.

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For instance, some people may examine Oedipus bad temper and label this as the flaw that leads to his downfall. Oedipus becomes enraged at Teiresias claim that he is the one who murdered Laius and he begins to believe that this is an attempt by Creon to overthrow him. Despite Oedipus anger in this situation, his reaction can be justified. First of all, Teiresias allegation that Oedipus is the killer is absurd to him since he would never murder a king.

Also, it seems logical that Creon would be behind such a scheme since he would be next in line to the throne. Therefore, Oedipus bad temper cannot be considered his hamartia.Another characteristic of Oedipus that some people tend to refer to as his hamartia is his murderous temperament. One can see this side of Oedipus when he recounts the story in which he killed the old man in the wagon as well as a few of the mans servants.

However, Oedipus murderous rage was completely justified in this situation. After all, the old man and his servants were trying to throw Oedipus off the road by brute force. Oedipus, in a sense, was merely defending himself from these men and killed them only out of self-defense and rage. Hence, Oedipus murderous temperament cannot be his tragic flaw.Some people even believe that Oedipus hamartia was carelessness.

Surely anyone told about killing his father and sleeping with his mother would have avoided killing any man and sleeping with any woman. Oedipus, on the other hand, did kill a man and he did sleep with a woman. Therefore, some critics believe that he was careless.

Oedipus, however, was completely careful in that he did everything in his will to get away from his parents. The only problem was that the parents he knew all his life were not his true parents. But this cannot be considered Oedipusfault nor can carelessness be viewed as his hamartia.There are two other points that may be considered to be Oedipus tragic flaw.

One deals with his possible pride and arrogance. Some people think that he is overly proud about his success with the Sphinx. This cannot be true, however, because he includes himself in the curse he made and is more than anxious to find the truth. The other point is Oedipus fatal curiosity which led to his inquiry into matters (Laius death) that might have been best left unexplored.

This can hardly be considered a flaw by either the Greeks of ancient times or by people today. The truth is out there and although it may be unpalatable or dangerous, it is better than ignorance. In conclusion, Oedipus the king of Thebes does not have a hamartia in the play. All of his emotions and actions throughout the play are completely justified and, thus, he doesnt possess a tragic flaw. Simply because a hero suffers a dreadful downfall, it does not necessarily result from his own faults.

Oedipus the King

Oedipus the KingBeing born with a terrible prophecy, having parents send out for death, surviving death, living in a entirely lie, does it sounds like fate or is it made by decisions? In the play Oedipus the king there is a deliberation in whether Oedipus life is simply just fate with an incapacity to change it or if he chooses his fate by the choices and decisions he formulates. There is no right or wrong answer and in this case there is evidence supporting both fate and choice. Oedipus never asked to be born, therefore does not deserve to have such a tragic destiny, but it could be possible that he was destine to die as a baby and it only took the choice of a shepherd to change Oedipus’s fate.In the beginning of the play a priest pleads Oedipus to help them again from a terrible plague as he had done before: “Again now Oedipus, our greatest power, we plead with you, as suppliants, all of us, to find us strength , whether from a god’s response or learned in some way from another man. I know that the experienced among men give counsels that will prosper best of all Noblest of men lift up our land again! Think also of yourself; since now the land calls you its Savior for your zeal of old, oh let us never look back at your rule as men helped up only to fall again!” The city was in desperate need of his help. He was the smart one that solved the riddle of Sphinx , so that meant he was the only one who would be able to help. Oedipus did not do anything against the city of Thebes, on the contrary, he kept Thebes out of trouble.

It was not Oedipus fault he was so wise, although, he did choose his fate by deciding to runaway from Corinth and into Thebes. Even though he did decide to runaway, he did not know what life was expecting for him and since he had already heard from someone that he had a curse and would kill his father and marry his mother, he thought it was for the best of everybody to run far away from his supposedly parents to stay away from the curse. It ended up worse leaving Corinth and arriving at Thebes because the curse came all true.

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After receiving the notice about the second terrible plague, Oedipus wanted to know the cause of it. He sends Creon, his brother-in-law, to find out the reason for the contagious fevers, bad farming, dead animals, and emotional women who can’t produce offspring because of this plague. Creon finally finds out and he tells Oedipus: “We must banish or murder to free ourselves from a murder that blows storms through the city. My Lord, a king named Laius ruled our land before you came to steer the city straight. Since he was murdered, you must raise your hand against the men who killed him with their hands.

” Oedipus decided that he needed the wisdom of Tiresias, a prophet, to tell him the real murder of king Laius. But Tiresias did not want to say what he knew about the murderer of Laius. Oedipus insisted again and again, but Tiresias would remain silent. They both argued back and forth until Oedipus blamed him of doing it: “Let me go home! If you will listen to me, You will endure your troubles better-and I mine.” “A strange request, not very kind to the land that cared for you-to hold back this oracle!” “It will come then why wont you declare it?” “Now I am angry enough to come right out with this conjecture: you, I think, helped plot the deed; you did it–even if your hand, cannot have struck the blow. If you could see, I should have said the deed was yours alone.” “Is that right! Then I charge you to abide by the decree you have announced: from this day say no word to either these or me, for you are the vile polluter of this land!” This is when Oedipus finally finds out that he is indeed the murderer of Lauis.

Oedipus cannot believe it is true, that is why he tries to blame everybody else. First he blames Tiresias and then he goes on and blames Creon: “Are these inventions Creon’s or your own?”. Tiresias did not want to tell Oedipus anything, but Oedipus basically forced him to do so. If Oedipus would not been so pushy, he would have maybe never known that he was the murderer. Even Tiresias tells him “I wouldn’t have come had you not sent for me”. So Tiresias blames Oedipus in knowing the truth ,he says if he had not sent for him he would of not known the truth. Although he did have the right to know the real truth about his life and who he really was.

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