Oedipus the King: His Pride, Temper and Ignorance

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A Character Analysis of Oedipus the King
Who is one of the most famous tragic heroes in the world of literature? It can be none other than the main character in Oedipus Rex: Oedipus the King. This is an inspired play written by Sophocles. In the duration of the play, a prophet has told that Oedipus is going to kill his father, and then marry his mother. Because of this, Oedipus faces many problems through the course of his life. But his doomed fate is not the only thing that causes him to fall. Oedipus has three main flaws that make him struggle during the course of the play: Pride/arrogance, impulsive temper, and a lack of common knowledge.

Oedipus the King is a proud and arrogant man. An instance of his arrogance is shown when he says: “Here I am myself- / you all know me, the world knows my fame: / I am Oedipus” (7-9). From this line it can be seen that Oedipus has a lot of pride, because he is the one and only Oedipus. Also, the way that others speak to him must have an effect on the way that he views himself. For example, when the priest speaks to him he says: “Oh Oedipus, king of the land, our greatest power” (16). Overall, the Sphinx is Oedipus’ greatest form of pride, because he is the only one who could solve the riddle. Regardless of these signs of pride and arrogance, Oedipus fails to see his flaws within.

From his pride comes his impulsive temper that causes him to make many mistakes that he could avoid. He becomes very upset when Tiresias, the blind prophet, does not answer his questions in the way that he prefers. Oedipus begins to accuse Tiresias of things that are untrue, and eventually mocks his blindness. When speaking of Tiresias he says: “..eyes peeled / for his own profit- seer blind in his craft” (450-451). Kreon, Oedipus' brother in law, is another character that feels the wrath of Oedipus' impulsive anger. From these examples it can be concluded that Oedipus shows impulsive anger towards anyone who tells him anything that he does...
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