Majesty of Oedipus’ Downfall
If one thing is for certain throughout the play Oedipus The King, it is that Oedipus has many good qualities to go along with his few flaws. These good traits, such as his generosity, selflessness, quest for truth, and kind nature prove that Oedipus is very noble, which means that he possesses high ideals or excellent moral character. This nobility is a major reason as to why Oedipus’ downfall is majestic, or large and impressive in extent or conception. Oedipus goes from being a “child of luck”-as he refers to himself in one translation of the play-and King of Thebes, to being blind and exiled from his land by the end of the play.
We first see that Oedipus is a kind and selfless king on page 114, when he goes to the priests of Thebes to ask them what is wrong. Here he states “I know well that you all suffer, yet sufferers as you are, there is not one of you whose suffering is as mine…my soul mourns at once for the city, and for myself, and for you.” Oedipus is not just worried for himself, but for each and every one of the people of Thebes. While in the beginning of the play this selflessness and kindness seem to be good, these qualities soon turn against hi. In Oedipus’ quest to find out the truth so that he could rid Thebes of it’s suffering, Oedipus ends up suffering himself. Not only does he find out that he is married to his mother and has killed his father, but since he is selfless, he banished himself from Thebes in order to save it, and is separated from his children. On page 147, Oedipus pleads “Never let this city of my sire be condemned to have me dwelling in it, so long as I live.” This act alone is simply majestic.
In these first few pages, Oedipus also shows that he does not feel like he is better than his people just because he is king. By going to the priests himself to see what is wrong, and showing his people that he too is sorrowful, Oedipus is showing his people that he is human. While this...
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