Heroes Are Not Perfect Essay

778 words - 4 pages

The greatest heroes and leaders of all time deny their greatness. They remain selfless because true heroes do not title themselves as such. One who does except the title finds that arrogance sets him on a path to lose the respect of the people who gave him the title in the first place. In the tragedy Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles, Oedipus has to learn this the hard way. His central being is built on compassion and an overwhelming desire to help people. However, somewhere along the way Oedipus gets caught up in himself rather than being a selfless man who is invested only in the people of Thebes. Oedipus’ tragic downfall begins when his compassion and heroism allow him to become arrogant to a ...view middle of the document...

However, being raised up and celebrated by the people, Oedipus proves to be increasing in arrogance as he takes on the role of a God which gets him in trouble with the real Gods. His arrogance is revealed in bold statements about his abilities to accomplish ending the plague. Oedipus, without reserve over his perfection, says “…by myself and for myself I’ll break this plague” (Sophocles 11). No longer does Oedipus sound like a man working for the people by stating he will end the plaque for himself. At this point, he craves the praises of the people. He wants to prove that he is God-like and capable of ending the sorrows of Thebes by himself alone. Oedipus’ delusion of his perfection takes him so far as to believing that his brother-in-law, Creon, is jealous enough to attempt to over throw him. He proclaims that he will kill Creon to show everyone just “…how much envy’s worth” (Sophocles 34). Oedipus has so much pride in him that he has a misleading sense that everyone is jealous of his godliness even Creon who carries just as much influence on Thebes as Oedipus. Oedipus is too self-invested to understand that the only envy around him is...

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