Oedipus Rex

Topics: Oedipus the King, Oedipus, Prophet Pages: 2 (847 words) Published: May 8, 2013
Pride and self confidence determine your fate. You are either hubristic or you have arête. The problem with hubris is that it can cause a sort of hamartia; it truly is a fatal flaw. In the play Oedipus the King by Sophocles, the hubris and hamartia of Oedipus and Jocasta lead them to their drastic fate. Excessive pride and confidence of outsmarting the gods made their tragic prophecy come true. When a prophet comes to Oedipus to tell him who the murderer of Laius is and accuses Oedipus of the crime, Jocasta looks at the prophet as ignorant and explains to Oedipus that she had outsmarted the gods, saying “A prophet? In that case, rid your mind of fear, and listen to me. I can teach you something. There is no human being born that is endowed with prophetic power. I can prove it to you-and in a few words… So, in this case, Apollo did not make the son kill his father or Laius die by his own son’s hand, as he had feared. Yet these were definite statements of the prophetic voices. Don’t pay any attention to prophecies. If God seeks or needs anything, he will easily make it clear to us himself.”(50) She has no respect for prophecies anymore, saying “But, my lord, even if he should depart from his former account in some particular, he still would never make the death of Laius what it was supposed to be-for Apollo said clearly that Laius was to be killed by my son. But that poor infant never killed Laius; it met its own death first. So much for prophecy. For all it can say, I would not, from now on, so much as look to right or left.”(59) and “O prophecies of the gods, where are you now? Polybus was the man Oedipus feared he might kill-and so avoided him all this time. And now he’s dead-a natural death, and not by the hand of Oedipus.”(64-65) Jocasta obviously believed that she has outsmarted the gods. She does not believe the prophets, she has no respect for them. When she says “Fear? Why should a man fear? His life is governed by the operations of chance. Nothing...
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