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Oedipus The King By Sophocles Essay

650 words - 3 pages

Oedipus the King conveys many lessons that are relevant to people living today despite the fact that it was written by Sophocles twenty four centuries ago. Oedipus is a child destined to kill his father and marry his mother. During his life, he makes many mistakes trying to avoid his fate. These mistakes teach us about the nature of humans under certain circumstances. Oedipus possesses personality traits which causes him to make wrong decisions. Attributes like arrogance and his inability to make calm decisions in certain scenarios due to his anger causes his downfall. Oedipus’ excessive pride, like many people today, was an important factor that brought him grief. Oedipus’ lack of patience caused him to make hasty decisions which lead him to his greatest agony. Oedipus’ massive ego turned into excessive vanity, this was the first step to his downfall. Oedipus talks to Creon about the murderer of ...view middle of the document...

Even after seeing Jocasta, the queen, beg and weep before him, he still does not change his mind “Persuaded from the truth? Pursuing it?” (Sophocles 59). He believes that he must know his origins to clarify his class. He does not listen to any requests and is only interested in himself. Oedipus’s arrogance causes him to act unreasonably in important situations and has a huge impact on his life. The lesson that is learned is to not let pride and arrogance disturb the judgments because it has a great affect on the future. Oedipus the King has many scenes where Oedipus’ anger evokes his rash decision making. When Oedipus is trying to force the name of the killer out of Tiresias, the prophet remains fixed. This causes Oedipus to get enraged and say “I vent it all on you, you planned this thing, and I suspect you of the very murder even all but the actual stroke” (Sophocles 20). This rash behavior causes Tiresias to defend himself and name the killer. Oedipus’ impulsive decision to force Tiresias to reveal the killer is the first step to his downfall. Shepherd is brought before Oedipus to explain his origins and the shepherd refuses to speak. Oedipus makes yet another incautious decision to force it out of him, “Here, someone twist the wretch’s hands behind his back” (Sophocles 64). This causes the shepherd to forcefully answer his question, “you are a doom-born man.” (Sophocles 67). From here on forth, Oedipus realizes his whole life’s mystery. This destroys Oedipus. His anger caused him to make impetuous decisions which lead to his greatest downfall. The lesson learned from this is to not let anger control the actions as it may have horrible consequences. Oedipus’ arrogance and anger is a human trait that ultimately leads to his doom. These two characteristics of human behavior are still applicable for today’s people, as they tend to make many errors of judgment due to it. Oedipus is a beautifully written play that demonstrates the intensity of an error caused by the most general flaws that we experience in our everyday lives.

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