Oedipus Rex Essay

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Oedipus has a "tragic flaw" that leads to his demise, and efforts to attribute one to him to him seem forced . In his quest to uncover the truth and rid Thebes of the plague, he exhibits all the heroic qualities that made him the savior of Thebes during the Sphinx's reign of terror. Oedipus as a victim of a fate he could not control. He had enormous control over the events of his "destiny" through the numerous decisions he makes. He chooses to believe the oracle and leave Corinth. (The play is in fact a comment on the role of oracles and religion in the climate of the intellectual revolution going on in 5th century Athens.) He chooses to kill Laius. He chooses to marry Jocasta. He chooses to forcefully and very publicly assume the mission of discovering the identity of Laius' killer. He proceeds on this mission and chooses to ignore the warnings of Creon, Jocasta, the messenger, the shepherd, of anyone that attempts to stand between him and the truth. And he chooses to blind himself (this is in fact a conscious act on his part to choose something on his own, an act that Apollo cannot be held responsible for.) If Oedipus was indeed a powerless pawn of fate, the play would be more than depressing, it would likely be meaningless. General plot of greek tragedies is that a person (the hero) of usual great influence goes through a sudden reversal of good fortune to misfortune and that is a result of some tragic flaw, usually pride. Now in Oedipus the King, to say that Oedipus's downfall was due to his flaws would almost contradict the whole idea of fate itself. True that he was proud, to kill another man (Lauis) over a traffic block, to scorn Tiresias, and to accuse Creon of envy, but was that really the cause of his tragedy? if fate already has it that he will kill his father and wed his mother, would it still matter if he had any flaws or not? are the flaws part of his fate? this play is, I believe, one of the most depressing of tragedies---it tells us that...
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