Oedipus The KingSometimes humans try to avoid their inevitable destiny for their lives; thereare moments that we may think of ourselves as invincible and smarter than whatis already decided. There may also be a point when making a decision leads to agreat error in judgment. In Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles, both ofthese problems are noticed in the character, Oedipus. They are known as tragicflaws. A tragedy must have the character to have a flaw in his hamartia.
Oedipus’ single flaw that is pointed out is hubris, excessive pride. A singleflaw can allow a man to be defeated. Oedipus the King is a tragedy. A tragedy isa play that portrays a conflict between human beings and some superior,overwhelming force. It ends sorrowfully and disastrously, and the outcome seemsinevitable.
In a tragedy, the hero is upper class that is capable of suffering. He is neither good nor bad. Due to the flaws in his actions and behaviors, hewill have everything and lose it all. He is the hero and king of Thebes, butbecause of his fate, he ends up being blind in exile. Oedipus runs from his ownhomeland including his mother and father. He is trying to escape his fate.Order now
Thegods above told him that he would, in his future, kill his father and marry hismother. By moving somewhere else, he believes his parents will be safe from him. Someone told him that Polybus and Merope were not his real parents so he askedthem, but they lied telling him they were. Oedipus still has doubts so he goesto Delphi where he is told the truth, but not the identity of his real parents.
He flees Corinth where his parents are in order to avoid the prophecy. Oedipusleaves Corinth and heads in the opposite direction towards Thebes. On hisjourney, a chariot tries to run him of the road. He became very angry, whichcauses him to become violent so he kills Laius and the men who are with him. Oneman escaped the wrath of Oedipus and fled back to Thebes. Although he does notknow Laius was his father, he is one step closer to fulfilling the prophecy.
Oedipus is on the path close to the town of Thebes where this is a Sphinx whokills people who cannot answer her riddle. Oedipus succeeds in solving theriddle, causing the Sphinx to destroy herself. He is received with enthusiasm bythe Thebans that just lost their king. The Thebans make him king and he marriesJocasta who was married to the late Laius. He is ignorant in knowing that notonly has he killed his father, but also now, he has married his mother. Oedipussinks low because of his tragic flaws, his actions, and his inability to dancearound one’s fate.
There is a plague in the land, so Oedipus wants it to goaway, so he sends Creon to Delphi to find out what to do. Creon is Jocasta’ssister and his brother-in-law. Apollo shot an arrow, which caused the plaguebecause Laius’ death went unsolved. Apollo wants the killer(s) paid back forthe murder. Oedipus wants to find the murderer, so he says that whoever killedLaius will be exiled or killed. Someone tells Oedipus to send for blind Tiresiaswho knows everything.
Tiresias does not want to tell Oedipus the truth, butOedipus keeps harassing Tiresias even threatens him with torture. Finally, hetells Oedipus the truth but Oedipus does not want to believe the truth. Oedipusshows an error in judgment when he disregards Tiresias’ warning. He is toohardheaded to listen to what Tiresias has to say to him. In doing this, hecreates his own downfall. He disregards all the information given to him becausehe thinks that he can control his destiny.
A servant announces to the king andhis people that Jocasta was dead. She hung herself in her bedroom when shefigured out that her husband was really her son. Her four children were by herfirst born who she thought was dead. Oedipus sees his mother/wife’s body hepulls to pins out of her dress and gouges his eyes out with them. He does thisseveral times, causing blood to drip down his face and on his beard. He couldnot bear to see the damage that his life had caused.
Oedipus keeps his word ofpunishing the murderer of Laius. He is sent in exile to Cithaeron where as ababy he was to have been left. He does not know if he will die there are notbecause he realizes now that the gods are in control of his destiny. Apollotakes away the plague, since the murder of Laius was solved and punishment hadbeen served.
Oedipus was on top of the world and he literally lost everyone andeverything that he had loved. He tried to avoid his fate but it was meant to be,so it happened. It does not make sense why his fate must be so terrible, but itcould have to do with his single flaw. Oedipus never did anything that bad todeserve such a horrible life. At least he was man enough to realize that it wasnot only Apollo’s fault, but his too. He lost some of his hubris throughoutthis horrible event.
This all took place in one day at the palace in Thebes.Everyone has a downfall, some just have farther to fall than others do.