Sophocles’ Oedipus , presents himself in the beginning of the first scene as a well recognized and respectful King. Oedipus greets the priest and the children with great honor, for he had saved the city from the Sphinx (39.1229), and their expectations were very high for another phenomenon. Arthur Miller’s Willie Loman, the beginning act indicate a man that has given all he had to his family and employer, “never made enough money” (1478) and is in despair of his present condition of not being able to work in an office and not having to travel (1452). Both men are considered a hero, Oedipus to the city of Thebes and Willie Loman to his self and family.
Oedipus was concerned about the city and how to overcome a situation that would save the city.
But my spirit Groans for the city,
for myself, for you (65.1230).
Willie Loman was concerned about his prosperity and not ending his life as a failure.
No, no, some people – some people accomplish something (1.1452).
“The question which the Teiresias scene thrust to the foreground is not so much the hero’s guilt or innocence as it is his power of understanding. It is this power, not his clear conscience, which seems the ground of Oedipus’ self-esteem (441).” The power of destruction can be detrimental to a person if they do not understand the circumstances that are surrounding them. “Willie Loman, refuses to admit failure in his obsessive drive to attain personal fulfillment.” Willie made an effort to fulfill his dream thru his son, “I always knew one way or another we were gonna make it, Biff and I!” There are riches unseen far beyond a dream. Success is not only in the material things that are visible. Richness presents itself in many ways, such as, health, strength and understanding. Willie Lowman had a wife that was there for him with understanding and compassion. He was a very successful man, and did not understand the conditions of his success. Standards of life can be set so high that it is almost impossible to reach them. Reach for the star and never be able to touch it. If, Willie believed, and had faith in God, he would not have become distraught with disappointments and failure. “Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5 The NIV Study Bible.