Oedipus’ “ God Complex”
Oedipus, Sophocles’ tragic hero, displays courage, grit, and passion from the very beginning of this epic poem. The people of Thebes sense Oedipus’ passion and see him as a new light for their dying city, not knowing that he is the cause of the curse that has befallen them. Oedipus has unknowingly killed his father and marries his mother, and in doing so, damns the city of Thebes. Initially, Oedipus is deliberate in his choices and devout in his love for his people, and this translates into the trust and allegiance that the people soon procure for him. However, his brashness and overwhelming desire to maintain his position as the hero of his story, is what ultimately leads to his downfall. Oedipus’s desire for the truth is distorted, in that he requires a particular truth, one that adapts to his immediate need. He approaches particular situations, with the understanding that he is the hero, and this is where the most impactful transition occurs. Throughout Oedipus’ search for the truth, he maintains a self-righteous persona, until the truth can no longer be distorted, and Oedipus is left poor, insecure, and exiled. Eventually, Oedipus transitions from the esteemed king of Thebes to a blind man, realizing that the will of the gods cannot be escaped, and that his life is merely a product of Fate.
Initially, Oedipus is adamant about basking in his own kingly bravado, and rightfully so. For many years, the sphinx monster tyrannized the Theban people until, one day, Oedipus the-passer-by solves the riddle and saves the people. Oedipus is also brave, loyal, and of kindred spirits with his people. He loudly identifies himself to the people, professing “Here I am myself you all know me, the world knows my fame; I am Oedipus.” (159.7-9) This, on surface level, appears arrogant, but it is important to understand his qualifications and his motivation. Oedipus had not been previously acquainted with the city in any way, and his conquering of the sphinx is a feat of both intellect as well as character, both of which are corresponding characteristics of a king. This being said, Oedipus feels pride in his distinctiveness, his identity as a hero. Now, when Creon, Oedipus’ brother in law, discloses what they know about Laius’ death and how it...