Oedipus The King The Character Transformations Of Oedipus

1349 words - 5 pages

Oedipus the King - The Character Transformations of Oedipus

Through the character of Oedipus, Sophocles shows the consequences of defying the divine order. Oedipus served Thebes as a great ruler, loved by his subjects; but, like most in the human race, he slipped through the cracks of perfection. Oedipus had many faults, but it was primarily the tragic flaw of hubris, arrogance from excessive pride, which doomed his existence, regardless of the character attributes that made him such a beloved king. He was doomed for downfall since his very beginning, because "to flee your fate is to rush to find it" (Oedipus Rex).

Oedipus, throughout this work, seems more than a merely passive player lost in the hands of fate. He makes critical errors in judgment that set the events of the story into action. His pride and arrogance, blindness and ignorance, as well as foolishness and quick temper all play a part in the tragedy that befalls him.

Oedipus's pride sets it all off; when a drunken man tells him that his father is not who he thinks, his pride is so wounded that he will not let the subject rest, eventually going to the oracle of Apollo at Delphi to find the truth. A less proud man may have not needed to visit the oracle, giving him no reason to leave Corinth in the first place (Segal, 121). It is impossible to speculate what may have happened to Oedipus had he stayed in Corinth, but it is the attempt to avoid his fate that dooms him not only to fulfill the prophesy, but to suffer yet greater consequences (Segal, 122). "I heard all that and ran. I abandoned Corinth, from that day on I gauged its landfall only by the stars, running, always running toward some place where I would never see the shame of all those oracles come true" (876-880).

Furthermore, Oedipus's pride continues to be a flaw that leads to the story's tragic ending. He is too proud to consider the words of the prophet Tiresias, choosing instead to rely on his own sleuthing powers. Tiresias warns him not to pry into these matters; "Just send me home. You bear your burdens, I'll bear mine. It's better that way, please believe me" (364-366). However, pride in his own intelligence leads Oedipus to continue his search. "For the love of god, don't turn away, not if you know something" (371-372). Oedipus values truth attained through scientific inquiry over words and warnings from the gods, as this is a result of his pompous pride.

Along with this pride, Oedipus is a seeker of truth. He shows himself to be a thinker, a man good at unraveling mysteries. This is the same characteristic that brought him to Thebes; he was the only man capable of solving the Sphinx's riddle. His intelligence is what makes him great, yet also contributes to making him tragic. His problem solver's mind leads him

on as he works through the mystery of his birth. In the Oedipus myth, marriage to Jocasta was the prize for ridding Thebes of the Sphinx. Thus, ...

Find Another Essay On Oedipus the King - The Character Transformations of Oedipus

Oedipus the king 2 Essay

635 words - 3 pages Oedipus' Hamartia Aristotle once said that a hero's downfall must be a result of some tragic flaw within the character. This flaw was known as hamartia in the Greek world of Aristotle. Since Aristotle greatly admired Oedipus the King, many people believe that Oedipus must have had a prominent and complex hamartia. Discovering Oedipus' hamartia within the play is not an easy task. In fact, it is impossible to point out Oedipus' hamartia since I

Oedipus the King Essay

635 words - 3 pages Oedipus' Hamartia Aristotle once said that a hero's downfall must be a result of some tragic flaw within the character. This flaw was known as hamartia in the Greek world of Aristotle. Since Aristotle greatly admired Oedipus the King, many people believe that Oedipus must have had a prominent and complex hamartia. Discovering Oedipus' hamartia within the play is not an easy task. In fact, it is impossible to point out Oedipus' hamartia since I

Oedipus the King

1737 words - 7 pages , but not completely, as he only has moved partially towards the mindset of predetermination. Oedipus has a foot in both worlds. Sophocles has written a play that walks an ambiguous line as to whether one can live with or without freewill. But he has written the character of Oedipus to embody not one single position on the matter, but as a classically tragic hero, who leads and saves at the cost of his own and others’ suffering. Oedipus did not lead himself to his own downfall out of any personal faults, but because it was what he had to do in order to be the King that Thebes needed.

oedipus the king

628 words - 3 pages prophet Tiresias tells Oedipus exactly what the oracle did, making himself another example of divine will, that is, the gods speak through him. Divine intervention is abundant in Oedipus at Colonus, too. In it, Oedipus tries to gain sympathy for himself by saying all the sins he committed in the previous play were the work of fate, thus proving the point of divine intervention in Oedipus the King. There are examples of divine intervention that are

Oedipus the king 3

523 words - 2 pages Oedipus the King "Ankle Theory" The classification of "Oedipus the King" as a tragedy requires it to meet certain criteria pertaining to the main character, Oedipus. Oedipus must have no control over the situation which he is in, he has to have been harmed by someone for doing nothing or doing what is just, and he must come to an end in which he is utterly lost, or dies without resolving the situation. I believe all three of these criteria can

"Oedipus the king" essay

612 words - 2 pages characters around them "enhanced" this fate from happening.Becasue Oedipus was "blinded" by the assurances of others, he does not realize that his actions, and the actions of the influence around him, caused his tragic flaw!The cause of Oedipus' fate was like a "virus" spreading around from person to person until the truth was exposed; not done in a cheerful way! Oedipus, the most important character, played a major role in the denial or his

Oedipus the King

1019 words - 4 pages WangRuiqi WangLangCTI 35029 September 2014Oedipus the King by Sophocles focuses on the unfortunate demise and consequences a prophecy brings in the life of Oedipus. From his birth, Oedipus is fated with eventually murdering his father and marrying to his mother. Sophocles inconspicuously inserts symbolism to let the audience investigate the relation between the symbols and the prophecy. One such symbol, the crossroad, represents the calamitous

Oedipus The King

881 words - 4 pages Oedipus the King Fate is a very crucial aspect of everybody's life. All people have their fate predetermined for them by God before they are even born. Some times a person can control what happens to him/her but only to a certain extent. The reason that some happenings are controlled to an extent goes to the fact that all other aspects in life are controlled by a higher power. There are so many occurrences in life that may not be introduced to

Oedipus the King

1168 words - 5 pages of fortune and usually conveys a strong impression of waste. It is always accompanied by misery and emotional distress” (20). The play, Oedipus the King, by Sophocles definitely demonstrated the characteristics of an impressive disaster unforeseen by the protagonist that involved a character of respect, included irony, and was accompanied by misery and emotional distress. Tragedies usually chronicle a disaster that was unforeseen by

Oedipus the King - 1115 words

1115 words - 4 pages never be seen again. They thought that was the end of it. Thus making Oedipus an outcast from his kingdom that when his father leaves is his to rule. But their son oedipus, who grows up in corinth finds that the king and queen there are not his biological parents. He sets out to find his parents on the way he kills all but one man on a caravan that tried to run him off the road.(later to be found out that it was his father king lois. In the story

Oedipus The King

845 words - 3 pages couldn't have killed him.Oedipus, however, is still worried about the sleeping with his mother part of the prophecy. Jocasta tells Oedipus he's better off not thinking and worrying about it.The messenger informs Oedipus and Jocasta that the King of Corinth and his wife were not Oedipus's real parents. Oedipus was discovered with his feet pierced and tied by a shepherd who then gave him to the messenger.Although she has no lines here, Jocasta

Similar Essays

Oedipus The King: The Hubris Of Oedipus

2521 words - 10 pages and details to evoke emotions of shock, sympathy, and grief from the audience. Sophocles presented a significant amount of expositional information (in the prologue and the parados) so that the audience or reader could gain insight about the play. The play focuses on Oedipus, the main character. "Swell foot", the meaning of his name, derived because he was abandoned at birth and found with an iron pin embedded into his feet. It was

Oedipus The King: The Innocence Of Oedipus

1457 words - 6 pages Sophocles' Oedipus Rex Is Innocent Because Oedipus knows nothing about the past of Thebes, he is not an assassin. Oedipus committed murder but unknowingly of who King Laius was. Oedipus' honor was his claim against the murder. Had it been the other way around and Oedipus had lost the battle, King Laius' alibi would have also been for reasons of honor: for reasons of royalty. Oedipus was royalty and knew it as well did King Laius. The main

Universal Character Traits In "Oedipus The King"

852 words - 3 pages PAGE PAGE 4 September 9, 2007Universal character traits in Oedipus the KingIn Sophocles play, Oedipus the King, there are many themes universal to allhumans. The main character, Oedipus, exhibits traits that humans possess and covet. Wedo not wish to kill our father and marry our mother, but we can relate metaphorically tohis situation. We relate to the broad range of emotions he displays and his reaction invarious situations.Oedipus

Discuss The Ways In Which The Character Of Oedipus In Oedipus The King

1100 words - 4 pages Discuss the ways in which the character of Oedipus in Oedipus the King conforms to the conventions of the tragic hero. In your discussion refer to how the issues explored in the play have a wider significance than the tragedy of Oedipus as an individual. Assessment 9: Short Essay – Drama Discuss the ways in which the character of Oedipus in Oedipus the King conforms to the conventions of the tragic hero. In your discussion refer to