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Oedipus' Dislikeable Qualities Do Not Change Throughout The Books Oedipus Rex And Oedipus At Colonuss

971 words - 4 pages

Throughout one's lifetime, he or she learns many different sayings that hold true in many different facets of life. Many of these sayings regard things not being what they seem. A specific example comes to mind when analyzing Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. It is that "looks may be deceiving." To the naked eye, it appears as though Oedipus changes throughout the two plays. However, upon further inspection, many, if not all, of the dislikeable qualities that appear in Oedipus Rex are also prevalent in Oedipus at Colonus.In both of the plays, Oedipus regularly displays a very short and vicious temper. It was, in fact, his temper that led him to kill Laius to set off the whole chain reaction that lead to his downfall. Tiresias and Creon bear the wrath of Oedipus' temper once he first hears what Tiresias says. This defilement of the word of Tiresias, who is supposed to know all, shows the lack of respect Oedipus has towards the prophesy and the gods, which leads Tiresias to say "you see and still are blind--appallingly" (23). When his unquenchable thirst for the knowledge of his birth history leads Oedipus to the old shepherd, his temper takes over during the interrogation. When the shepherd started to answer his questions in a vague and reluctant manner, Oedipus had a fit of anger and started to threaten him with physical harm if he did not start answering in more definite terms. Considering that Oedipus was the king at the time, it is reasonable to assume that, at all times, he should be expected to behave in a much more civilized manner. Oedipus' lack of emotional control is also well documented throughout Oedipus at Colonus as well. Creon comes to Oedipus in Colonus to ask his forgiveness for the past events. However, Oedipus berates Creon mercilessly, absolutely refusing to forgive him. The comments that Oedipus made were out of anger and as a direct result from his anger. The situation is very similar when his son, Polynices, comes to see him. Yet once again, the results of Polynices' pleading are the same as Creon's. These two men, Creon and Polynices, are the brother-in-law and son, respectively, of Oedipus. Yet despite this close kinship, Oedipus allows his temper to get the best of him and refuses to forgive them. Oedipus makes many ill-advised decisions simply because of his short temper. Oedipus clearly does not correct his problem throughout the two plays.Oedipus displays how stubborn he is in both plays. Most of the entire play Oedipus Rex is about his refusal to accept the prophecy, even though the evidence presented shows that it is true. While searching for the truth, on numerous occasions, he completely disregards Jocasta's cries for him to stop. When the truth finally comes out, Oedipus stubbornly refuses to...

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