An Analysis of The High-Minded Man by Aristotle

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  • Topic: Oedipus
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The High-Minded Man
Oedipus’ life is like a bad fortune cookie. He is short of luck and is destined to a bad future. Throughout his misfortune he still exemplifies a few of Aristotle’s “The High-Minded Man” qualities. Aristotle wrote of qualities that only a man of greatness and happiness would acquire. The essay, “The High-Minded Man” by Aristotle reflects characteristics of Oedipus In Oedipus Rex, he displays the high-minded qualities of truth and honor, but lacks in the gift of fortune.

A high-minded man is one who speaks the truth. In “The High Minded Man” Aristotle writes “He must care for truth more than for what men will think of him, and speak and act openly. He will not hesitate to say what he thinks.” (Witt 160). He explains how people should see past what others will think of how they act and speak. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus displays this characteristic. Oedipus speaks his mind to Kreon:

So you dared come back. Why? How brazen of you to come to my house,
You murderer! Do you think that I do not know that you plotted to kill me, plotted to steal my throne?... You are the fool, Kreon, are you not? Hoping without the support or friends to get the throne? Thrones may be won or bought: you could do neither. (Fitzgerald 116) Oedipus accuses Kreon, the brother of his wife, of plotting to kill him and steal the throne. It shows the characteristic because Oedipus did not hesitate to speak his thoughts and act openly. He was searching for the truth. In order to help save his kingdom from a plague, he made false accusations that sacrificed his relationship with his wife’s brother for a greater cause.

Another high-minded quality is to be concerned with honor. Aristotle said,     “...that honour is what high-minded men are concerned with; for it is honour that great men claim and deserve”. (Witt 160).  Honor is for those who claim much and deserve much, they should want to be great. Oedipus savors being worshiped like in the conversation between...
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