Essay on Oedipus Rex

Submitted By astefanovski16
Words: 811
Pages: 4

Aristotle defined Oedipus Rex by Sophocles as the perfect tragedy. In this tragedy, King Oedipus has to face a hamartia, which is the tragic hero’s downfall due to his tragic flaws. King Oedipus plays an important role in the concept of fate. Oedipus falls form his status from being a powerful noble king by not following his fate, his overbearing pride, and his assault that makes him a disgrace towards others. Although, Oedipus is considered a classic Greek tragic hero, he has several tragic flaws that lead to his downfalls such as, his arrogance, fate, and hybris. However, others may say that there are no distinguishable flaws revealed. People may think this because Sophocles does not specifically make notice to the flaws that Oedipus has. You have to be able to comprehend what is going on in order to point out his tragic flaws. Although, Oedipus appears to have many flaws mainly his arrogance, fate, and hybris. An element that makes up Oedipus’ personality that leads to his horrific downfall is arrogance. During Oedipus’s conversation with Tiresias Oedipus says, “Much as you want. Your words are nothing-frutile.” (Sophocles, pg278) This quote shows that Oedipus believes that no one is better than him. Throughout the rest of the conversation, Tiresias is treated with such disrespect from Oedipus. Oedipus imagines that Tiresias has no feelings and is ignorant to the city. However it is clear that Tiresias told Oedipus the truth about the murder as if he were trying to help him open his eyes from Oedipus’s blindness but the arrogance came out in him and spoke for him instead of his mind. Oedipus’ arrogance also leads to the dangerous act of his fate. The Gods predetermined Oedipus’ life. At the time of his birth he was prophesied that he would kill his father and marry his mother. In order for him to avoid the dreadful situation, he was guided to follow his fate. As a baby, his parents learned of his destiny and gave him to a shepherd to be killed. Since he had to carry out the destiny, however Oedipus survived and was adopted by the king and queen of Corinth. Unaware that those were not his real parents, Oedipus learned about his destiny and thought he would be able to change it by leaving Corinth. Unfortunately his prophecy, as warned by the Oracle at Delphi, was absolute, and would come true. When Oedipus found out that he was the son raised by Polybus, he was in fear of his mother knowing that she was still alive because she is a dreadful prophecy, and stranger that was sent by the gods. “Apollo told me once-it is my fate- I must make love with my own mother, shed my father’s blood with my own hands. So for years I’ve given Corinth a wide berth, but it’s been my good fortune to.” (Sophocles pg304) This shows that Oedipus was in fear of his parents and it is his fate to do as Apollo had mentioned. But before any of this had happened,