Oedipus' Tragic Flaw

Topics: Oedipus the King, Sophocles, Oedipus Pages: 2 (394 words) Published: December 13, 2010
Oedipus’ Gratification
Famous author C.S. Lewis once said: “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and of course, as long as you’re looking down, you can’t see something that is above you.” This quote correctly authenticates Oedipus’ tragic flaw in the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. Beyond other factors, Oedipus’ pride through out the story blinds him from seeing many things that eventually lead us to believe his prevalent tragic flaw of all was his pride.

First, Oedipus failed to believe Tiresias when he accused him of being the reason why Thebes was suffering. "You are the unholy polluter of this land." (353) Oedipus gets angry at Tiresias after he protests that he is telling the truth. He also goes on to say: “I say you slew the man whose slayer you seek.” (381) This quote admits that Tiresias did indeed inform Oedipus of his actions. Oedipus declines to realize the connection between this comment and his personal knowledge of killing a man. Oedipus believes that because he saved the city such things could never happen to him. “But if I saved this city, it does not matter.” (466) He is full of pride and doubts all of Tiresiaus’ accusations.

Secondly, Oedipus’ dignity always caused him to look down on people who were trying to help him. When Tiresiaus is accusing him of his actions, he mocks the fact that Tiresiaus is blind. “You have no strength, blind in your ears, your reason, and your eyes.” (391) This confirms the point that Oedipus felt that became Tiresaius was blind, his judgment was not valid. Next, at the beginning of the play when the priest is talking to Oedipus he says: “Again now Oedipus, our greatest power, we plead with you, as suppliants all of us." (Cite) The word suppliant implies a person who basically begs for help from God. This quote demonstrates the priest asserting the idea that the people of Thebes almost worship him due to his use of the word “suppliants.” In response to this, Oedipus calls the...
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