Othello vs. Oedipus

Topics: Murder, Othello, Iago Pages: 4 (1772 words) Published: May 2, 2005
Is Too Much Pride Bad for Your Health?
In literature, the tragic heroes Oedipus and Othello allow the pride they have to cause their own demise by putting too much emphasis on the lives they have created for themselves. Oedipus, who blinds himself after finding out he has killed his birth father and married his birth mother, refuses to believe he has truly fulfilled his fate because he is so proud of what he has accomplished since he left Corinth. Othello demonstrates his pride by believing that the people closest to him would never betray him because of his powerful position as a General of the armies in Venice. Both characters example of hubris, or excessive pride, causes the downfall in their lives, which eventually leads to life-long blindness for Oedipus and death for Othello.

A first glimpse of Oedipus' pride is seen when he is speaking to the prophet Teiresias and refuses to believe he is actually responsible for killing the previous king of Thebes who happens to be his father. Teiresias tells Oedipus multiple times that his fate has been fulfilled and that Oedipus really did murder Laïos, however Oedipus is unbelieving of what Teiresias has to say. "Teiresias: I say that you are the murder whom you seek.

Oedipus: Now twice you have spat out infamy! You'll pay for it! Teiresias: Would you care for more? Do you wish to be really angry? Oedipus: Say what you will. Whatever you say is worthless.
Teiresias: I say you live in hideous shame with those most dear to you. You can not see the evil" (Sophocles 171 lines 144-159). Teiresias blatantly tells Oedipus the truth of what is happening around him, and Oedipus dismisses all he says. Oedipus' pride blinds him to all the evidence that points to him as the murderer of his own father. When Iocastê tells Oedipus the details of Laïos's murder, Oedipus is too ignorant to see that he was the one who murdered the previous king and placed a curse upon himself.

"Oedipus: I solemnly forbid the people...
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