Oedipus The King Essay

1076 words - 5 pages

“Now my curse on the murderer. Whoever he is, a lone man unknown in his crime - or one among many, let that man drag out his life in agony, step by painful step - I curse myself as well … if by any chance He proves to be an intimate of our house, Here at my hearth, with my full knowledge, May the curse I just called down on him strike me!”(p. 1137). Oedipus’s intense pride or hubris, and his steadfast determination to uncover the mystery of Laius’s murder ironically leads him to unwittingly curse himself.
Oedipus is considered to be a perfect tragedy. A good tragedy will elicit pity and fear in its readers or viewers, causing them to experience a sense of release. Hubris is described in ...view middle of the document...

The priest pleads with Oedipus, “...first of men, both in the common crises of our lives and face to face encounters with the gods… we implore you, all of us on our knees: find us strength, rescue!” (p. 1131). Oedipus finds it within himself to be the savior that the people of Thebes requires in these turbulent times of the Black Death, sick and dying cattle, blighted crops. “Rule our land, you know you have the power, but rule a land of the living not a wasteland” (p1131). Oedipus, seeing the misery that his people have been enduring, explains that he has observed the suffering and has sent his wife’s brother, Creon to Delphi to solicit the oracle of Apollo for the means to restore peace to the Thebes.
He is so confident and prideful that even when Creon tries to tell him that it is best to discuss the problem in private, he insists that it be told publicly in front of all the citizens of Thebes. Oedipus says, “Speak out, speak to us all. I grieve for these, my people, far more than I fear for my own life”(p. 1132). Creon responds with his message from the gods. “Very well, I will tell you what I heard from the god. Apollo commands us - he was quite clear - “Drive the corruption from the land, don’t harbor it any longer, past all cure, don’t nurse it in your soil - root it out!” ...Banish the man or pay back blood with blood. Murder sets the plague-storm on the city”(pp. 1132-33).
Oedipus’s personality clearly shows hubris and determination throughout the play. Oedipus's greatest act of hubris is when he tries to deny his fate. The Oracle of Delphi told him long ago that he was destined to kill his father and sleep with his mother, Oedipus is determined to prevent this prophecy. He believes that this fate will not apply to him. Oedipus tried to escape his fate by never returning to Corinth, the city where he grew up, and never seeing the people he thought were his parents again. Ironically, it was...

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