Oedipus, the main character in “Oedipus, the King” has hamartia and frailty that lead to his downfall. Oedipus’s imperfect character traits: pride (hubris), stubbornness, and disrespect precipitate his tragic fate and demise.
Oedipus, King of Thebes, is an imperfect protagonist in Sophocles’ “Oedipus, the King.” He is an imperfect human being who makes mistakes in his life. His mistakes, however, are very tragic and exceed what he deserves. He is ignorant about his true identity and does not accept his gods’ prophecy for him. He tries to avoid his gods’ horrendous fate in his life and causes blasphemy, patricide, and incest unintentionally and unknowingly. His first mistake is to try to ignore the rumors his adopted parents are not his real parents. He runs away from Corinth to avoid his prophesied destiny believing his foster parents are safe away from him. As fate has it, he unknowingly kills his real father at a crossroad due to his bad temper, rash anger, and self defense. Unfortunately, he fulfills his birth prophesy, The Oracle of Delphi: “To his beloved children, he’ll be shown / a father who is also brother; to the one / who bore him, son and husband; to his father / his seed-fellow and killer” (lines 462-465)
Oedipus, by his hasty actions, and decisions commits terrible sins: kills his father, commits incest, and disobeys the gods. His fate continues his path as he becomes king of Thebes. He deciphers the monstrous Sphinx’s riddle by correctly answering: It is man, who crawls as a baby, walks in his adulthood, and uses a cane at an old age. He gains power over the people of Thebes. He considers himself powerful and mighty above all. He demonstrates his true hubris and ego character in line 8: “I, Oedipus, a name that all men know.” He is king of Thebes. Its people are suffering a deadly and contagious plague brought to the city because of the king’s sin. He calls out for the cause that brought the plague. He, as the king, investigates the cause of the plague. Tiresias, the god’s blind prophet, has the answer to the plague: “for you are the vile polluter of this land!” (358). Tiresias tells him the truth after Oedipus angrily insisted and threatened him several times. Tiresias could not keep the secret any longer. He becomes angry and tells Oedipus; he is his father Laius and former Thebes’ king killer. He is definitely, the cause for the plague in Thebes.
Oedipus attitude of stubbornness to get the truth out, although, his wife/mother tried to stop him not to discover the truth for it will cause his downfall. He does not listen to her advice due to his pride. Jocasta finds the tragic truth and foretells Oedipus her death: “Man of misery! / No other name / shall I address you by, ever again” (lines 1077-1078). Oedipus is obsessed to know the whole truth about why he is the cause of the plague. He seeks further evidence. He is disrespectful and stubborn to the old herdsman, who was supposed to have killed him to...