Oedipus and His Pride

Good Essays
Topics: Oedipus, Sphinx
Oedipus likes himself and Oedipus lets his audience know this from the very beginning of the play and quite often. Even within the first words of the play "My children" (page 43, line 1) we see him asserts all the citizens of Thebes as his subordinates. Even before another character talks he states "I, Oedipus, who bears the famous name," (43, 8) shows his boastful self love. This pride in himself acts as an inhibiting factor for his as well which prevents him from seeing his own mistakes. These barriers based on pride enable Oedipus to fulfill his prophecy of killing his father and marrying his mother.
Oedipus' pride is best shown with his belief, one shared by Liaos, that he can escape the will of the Gods. The prophecy of Oedipus from birth that he would kill his father and married his mother was set by the God's from Oedipus' birth. However there were several times throughout the play. Sophocles used a crossroads or forked path analogy at these times to show the many options Oedipus had. However Oedipus' pride at each of these instances forced himself to make decisions further enabling the prophecy to come true. The best instance of this takes place when Oedipus and King Liaos physically meet on a crossroad. Liaos forces Oedipus off the road and tries to hit Oedipus with a staff. This severe insult prods at Oedipus' pride and forces Oedipus to make a decision. Should he let the act go or should he defend his honor from the man that insulted it. As Oedipus repeatedly displays throughout the entire play, he is unwilling to ever display an even slightly lower opinion of himself than the near-god-like status he believes he possesses. Oedipus kills King Liaos firmly cementing the prophecy where now there is no escape.
The cementing decision enabling Oedipus' fate was when Oedipus heard of his legacy from a seer in Corinth. Here Oedipus reacted out of fear. He feared this image of himself he felt he could not control. His pride made him think he

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    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…

    • 696 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Pride In Oedipus Rex

    • 316 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Oedipus the King The people believed at the time of Sophocles that an individual achieves his destiny as a result of his own fate. This is true in the case of Oedipus the king, whose anger; pride and blindness towards the truth bring his tragic downfall. At the start of the play, Oedipus is depicted as a confident ruler, who saved Thebes from the curse of Sphinx, furthermore, he becomes the king overnight. He declares his name gladly just as it were itself a recuperating charm: “Here I am myself—…

    • 316 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Pride In Oedipus The King

    • 1245 Words
    • 5 Pages

    In the story of Oedipus Rex, Laius and Jocaste are king and queen of Thebes, and the parents of Oedipus. Laius was warned by an oracle that he would be killed by his own son. Determined to prevent his fate, Laius pierced and bound together the feet of his newborn child and left him to die on a lonely mountain. The infant was rescued by a shepherd and given to Polybus, king of Corinth, who named the child Oedipus and raised him as his own son. Oedipus did not know that he was adopted, and when an…

    • 1245 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Pride In Oedipus The King

    • 893 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Richard C. Armitage's quote “I have a bit of pride, which is always my downfall.”, is an acknowledgement of a personal fatal flaw, pride, which incidentally is a flaw shared by many of history's great leaders. One example is Napoleon Bonaparte, the emperor of France, whose pride drove his desire to conquer all of Europe, eventually leading to the downfall of him and the nation he built. Similarly, the Greek word Hamartia, a fatal flaw leading to one’s downfall, applies to many historical leaders…

    • 893 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    French author, George Bernanos once said “It’s fine to rise above pride, but you must have pride in order to do so.” Bernanos believed that it is necessary for everyone to have pride in order to succeed. But, those who succeed may become too proud and will lose everything. Bernanos believed that pride is good in moderation, but having an excess of characteristics similar to it causes people to lose what they work so hard to obtain. Sophocles explores the idea of having traits that can be good in…

    • 1483 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Deadly Sin, Pride Within all ancient literature and script, the quality of Pride has always been coupled with evil. The Bible stigmatized it as one of the seven deadly sins with its victims subject to eternal damnation, and in the world of Dante Alighieri, the proud were tortured in the deep abyss of Hell. As the protagonists of the Greek Tragedy Oedipus the King and Star Wars , Oedipus and Anakin Skywalker are both entangled into a tragic plot, with their own extreme pride as the impetus to all actions…

    • 1378 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Sophocles’ play, Oedipus the King, Oedipus decides that to end the plague he must avenge the death of Laius, the former king of Thebes. Without any information about Laius’ death, Oedipus became angry and sent a curse down on the murderer. Tiresias, a prophet, soon revealed to Oedipus that the true identity of the murderer was Oedipus himself. Not only did Oedipus find out that one of the men he murdered years before was the king, but it was also revealed that Laius was his father and his wife, Jocasta…

    • 505 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the second choral ode in the second episode of Oedipus The King, written by Sophocles and translated by Robert Fagles the Chorus, begins to question their faith to the Gods they have put all trust in. The city of Thebes is a situation where a prophet has come and made ‘wild claims’ to their king while their city is dying. “Never again will I go to reverent to Delphi, the inviolate heart of the Earth or Apollo’s ancient oracle at Abae or Olympia of the fires- unless these prophecies all come true”…

    • 475 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Beowulf and His Pride

    • 570 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Beowulf and His Pride Alan Spivak 9-18-96 One of Beowulf's main characteristics is his ever present pride. To most protagonists their pride is usually explained by a friend or narrator. However, Beowulf is one who likes to show the whole world how important and valuable he is to them. Through out the chapters which we have read it seems as though the whole point in the book is to show off his strength. He presents himself before a fight with boasting and an ostentatious manner of fighting…

    • 570 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Oedipus is the quintessential tragic hero, according to the Aristotelian definition, because his demise is entirely of his own doing. In the ongoing debate of fate versus free will, Oedipus proves that fate will only take a person so far. There is no arguing that he was dealt a dreadful hand by the Gods, but it is by his own free will that his prized life collapses. Oedipus could, and should have done nothing given the prophecies of the oracle, although either way his fate would have been realized…

    • 1555 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays