Last Updated 04 Jan 2023

The Tragic Flaws of Oedipus in Oedipus the King by Sophocles

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Like a tsunami surging from the depths of the ocean. People will run away from fate to no avail, only to be engulfed by its merciless rampage. Fate is the uncontrollable events that occur in one's life. In the epic story Oedipus the King by Sophie cles, fate is depicted as inevitable. The characters seek out oracles to undermine their impending futures. However, the characters fail to escape their destiny Oedie pus, the protagonist, challenges his inescapable future, yet his impulsive and curious personality adds oil to the flames. It is these flaws that cause him to, run away, kill his father, curse himself, and ultimately lead to his demise. Nevertheless, it is these same character flaws that lead to his redemption. A major flaw that Oedipus embodies is impulsiveness. His acute rashness is depicted both verbally and physically in a collection of scenes.

A prime example of this tragic flaw can be perceived during his altercation with the blind soothsayer, Teiresias. After exchanging words ofspite, Oedipus intensifies the discussion by yelling foul words directed at the revered prophet. He exclaimed, “Not twice you shall say calumnies like this and stay unpunished,“ With this, he threatens the holy man. This leads to the true enlightenment of his destiny, hastening the story to its bleak climax. Another example of Oedipus‘s impulsiveness is directly subsequent to his conquering of the Sphinx. When he enters his home city, he resolves to find the murderer of his biological father, Laius, Oblivious to the truth, Oedipus boldly and impulsively says, “Upon the murderer, I invoke this curse whether he is one man and all unknown."

However since he murdered his own father, he indirectly curses him self. His quick temper plus his rash decision-making end up anchoring his chances for success. In addition to an uncontrollable temper, Oedipus has a curious personality that can be deemed a blessing or a curse; in his case a curse His hunger for the truth literally blinds him towards the end of the story. His curse of curiosity enables him to obtain more knowledge than he was given. For example, during his symposium with Teiresias, Oedipus bombards the soothsayer with questions regarding his origin and his future. Frustrated at Oedipus's conduct, Teiresias retaliates with lines filled with subliminal information about the hero's grim future. The soothsayer exclaims, “he'll have no joy of the discovery blindness for sight and beggary for riches his exchange he shall go journeying to a foreign country“. In this line, Oedipus learns the truth of his miserable life As a result, he becomes drunk in grief.

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Another scene where Oedi pus‘s curiosity gets the better of him is when he has a chat with Iocasta, his royal wife, but his mother as well. As they talk about the murder of Laius, Oedipus ques- tions Iocasta about the details. He asks “Don‘t ask me yet,~rtell me of LaiusiHow did he look? How old or young was he?." Iocasta replies with honest answers and Oedipus soon realizes that he was to blame for the murder of his father, Laius. This puts the hero into a deeper stage of grief, dragging him to his depressing end. Ironically, Oedipus‘s faulty characteristics become the cornerstone to his ref demption. Although his curiosity lands him in an unlucky position, it moves the story forward and lets Oedipus confront his destiny. His impulsiveness is a major flaw without a doubt.

It ends up making Oedipus kill his father, curse himself, and seal his own fate. However, it is this rashness that Oedipus blinds himself after find, ing out the truth. Lacking the ability to see, Oedipus understands what is truly meaningful to him and repents for his sins. Oedipus's tragic flaws are the greatest faults he has hinders him from overcoming his destiny and turns him into a failure, a true tragic hero. Nevertheless, these aspects lead to his great redemption, where he repents for his sins and becomes a shrewd individual. As Oedipus benefits morally from hisjourney, the reader alike is enlightened of an important moral. The scenes in the story sum up to the saying that ignorance is bliss. The storyline compels both the reader and Oedipus to live in a more thoughtful way.

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