A crucial point in the play is that Oedipus is entirely unaware that he killed his father and wedded his mother. He himself is the cause of the plague on Thebes, and in vowing to find the murderer of Laius and exile him he unconsciously pronounces judgment on himself. Oedipus, the king and the hero who saved Thebes from the Sphinx, believes in his own innocence.
He is angry and incredulous when the provoked Teiresias accuses him of the crime, so he jumps to the conclusion that Teiresias and Creon are conspirators against him.
As plausible as that explanation may be, Oedipus maintains it with irrational vehemence, not even bothering to investigate it before he decides to have Creon put to death. Every act of his is performed rashly: He is a man of great pride and passion who is intent on serving Thebes, but he does not have tragic stature until the evidence of his guilt begins to accumulate.
Ironically, his past is revealed to him by people who wish him well and who want to reassure him. Each time a character tries to comfort him with information, the information serves to damn him more thoroughly. Jocasta, in proving how false oracles can be, first suggests to him that he unknowingly really did kill Laius, thus corroborating the oracles.
The messenger from Corinth in reassuring Oedipus about his parentage brings his true parentage into question, but he says enough to convince Jocasta that Oedipus is her son. Upon learning that the only solution for the plague to leave Thebes and for his people to be saved is to find the murderer of Laius, he took it upon himself to find the murderer.
Despite his fears and despite having second thoughts, he proceeded with his investigation confident that in the end he will triumph and once more save the people of Thebes. This was evident in the manner he relentlessly pursued with his investigation. He used his power and position as King to look for the answers to his questions.
Thus, he questioned Teiresias and other people such as the herdsman, the messenger, Creon and many others in order to find the truth. Pride and self-confidence were also the reasons why he thought he could escape his destiny. Thinking that he can do anything, he left Corinth. He thought that by leaving Corinth, he will be able to change his destiny and rewrite his own future. Concerned that the prophecy may be fulfilled, he left Corinth so that he will not murder his own father and marry his own mother.
Oedipus, in fact, celebrated several times in the story as he thought that he successfully defied the oracle. This was evident in the story when he received news that the King Corinth had died.
Though he loved King Polybus as he was raised by King Polybus as his own son, he was pleased that King Polybus did not die from his own hands. The second was when Jocasta informed him that Laius died at the hands of several robbers. For Oedipus, this could only mean that he could not have been the person who killed Laius. And so he rejoiced thinking that he managed to defy the oracle. He lost his wife. He lost his eyesight.
He lost his children. He lost his kingship. As the investigator, he uncovered the riddles of his life and found out that he was the boy born of Laius and Jocasta who was the subject of the prophecy. His intelligence, pride and arrogance led to this discovery which resulted in him losing everything that he had. He also realized that no matter what he did he will not be able to escape his destiny. No matter how hard he tried to defy and refuse to yield to his destiny, the ultimate end is that circumstances within and beyond his control will conspire resulting in the fulfillment of what has been preordained even before one is born.
Oedipus the King is a perfect model for a tragedy. It may true that had Oedipus not been so proud of himself he would not have lost everything. His wife would not have committed suicide. He may still have retained his kingship, his children and his eyesight.
To a certain extent, Oedipus triggered the events that happened in his life. However, it is also true that Oedipus should not be faulted for the suffering he experienced. It was not his fault that he was given away and left to die by Laius. It was not his fault that he left Corinth to avoid killing Polybus whom he believed was his father. It was not his fault that he encountered Laius in a crossroad which resulted in him killing Laius. When the play opens, Oedipus has been living happily with Jocasta and their four children for many years.
Except for the arrival of the plague, Oedipus seems to have a happy, prosperous life. He also shows that the crucial issue is not whether the prophecy will come true—it already did, long ago—but how the great Oedipus will personally handle the revelation of his crimes. Tellingly, no gods appear in Oedipus the King, only humans. From the beginning, Oedipus has an overwhelming sense of his own, individual power, as indicated by his constant use of the first-person pronouns I and me.
Oedipus is a man of vigorous action, as demonstrated by the way he relentlessly pursues the truth, even as it becomes clear the truth may implicate him. When he finally learns that he unwittingly fulfilled the very prophecy he spent his life trying to avoid, Oedipus does not submit to the gods or surrender his agency.
Even as he is brought low, Oedipus refuses to relinquish power over his own life and body.
Free Oedipus the King Essays: Oedipus as the Hero Archetype - Oedipus as the Hero Archetype The character Oedipus in Sophocles' Oedipus the King follows a literary pattern known as the hero archetype. The hero archetype is a pattern involved with transformation and redemption.
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Join Now Log in Home Literature Essays Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King Essays Hubris in Antigone and Oedipus Braden Ruddy Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King. The idea of hubris is monumental in a plethora of Greek mythological works. In many ways the excessive pride of certain characters fuels their own destruction. Sophocles' "Oedipus the King" is a tragic play illustrating a shift from the belief of predestination to freedom of choice. Therefore, "Oedipus the King" becomes a symbolic representation of human progress.
Oedipus, the king and the hero who saved Thebes from the Sphinx, believes in his own innocence. He is angry and incredulous when the provoked Teiresias accuses him of the crime, so he jumps to the conclusion that Teiresias and Creon are conspirators against him. Sep 17, · This essay seeks to prove that Oedipus the King is indeed the perfect model of a tragedy in the sense that it has all the elements of a great tragedy - human suffering, human frailty and weakness and powerlessness to control one’s destiny.