Of all the tragedies that Greek playwright Sophocles created in his illustrious career, the one that stands out as his masterpiece, and quite possibly one of the greatest of all the Greek tragedies is Oedipus the King. The tragedy focuses on the life and downfall of the unfortunate King Oedipus, who was condemned by the oracle at an early age to murder his father and marry his mother. Despite the oracle’s grim prediction, Oedipus was responsible for his own downfall due to his overly proud and impetuous attitude, and his own intellect and diligence.
In the polis of Thebes, Oedipus was the not only the king but he was also the hero of the community. The security and health of the community depended on him and he was expected to meet every urgent crisis with a plausible solution. He was celebrated for acting decisively and making decisions and then acting on them. With all his past accomplishments and achievements, Oedipus developed a strong sense of confidence, which fueled his over inflated ego. Unfortunately, when circumstances did not turn out in his favor, such as in his conflict with Tiresias the blind prophet, Oedipus became rigid and refused to see the problem on any one else’s terms except his own. Oedipus only wanted things to go the way he thought they should go. Whatever stood in his way he tried to overcome publicly and without any compromise from the opposing party, which was illustrated in his argument in front of the palace with Creon over the murder of the former King Laius. Ultimately his attitude of confidence with no compromises contributed to his disastrous and sad end. In most cases, intelligence and diligence are valuable traits to possess, but for Oedipus they contributed to his eventual downfall. Oedipus was known for being extremely intelligent and was very talented at solving riddles. To earn the right to be King of Thebes, Oedipus solved a riddle, which as a result... [continues]
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