Oedipus – a True Leader Is Born

A leader is like a guide; since others depend upon him, he should be positive in his own capabilities and be able to direct his followers towards their goal. While anybody can be a leader, a true leader is born, not made; although specific qualities can be taught, a natural-born leader has the intrinsic ability to command regard in such a way a taught leader can not. In Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, Oedipus reveals himself to be a true leader.

He is a great king and leader, as shown through the elimination of the Sphinx and the cleaning of the city’s miasma.

While Oedipus is eventually the source of the city’s problems, he still did all he could to find and purge the contamination from the city. Unlike Oedipus, Moses was not a natural-born leader. Moses did not have faculty of commanding others; rather, his capability for management was endowed upon him by God. Prior to his life altering encounter with God, he was a meek man, familiar with the injustice of the world however incapable of doing anything about it. Thus, in comparison with Oedipus, Moses can not be called a real leader. Their distinction lies essentially in the source of their powers. Oedipus is born to be a leader; he is totally self-reliant.

No divine involvement bestows his capabilities upon him. More than anything, the gods are against him. Because his daddy broke the spiritual pact between the visitor and host, he has been cursed and doomed to an awful end. In spite of this, Oedipus’ innate skills are still able to bring him to his high status. With his intellect, he correctly answers the Sphinx’s riddle that many others failed to solve, therefore saving Thebes from the Sphinx and becoming king. Oedipus also has excellent resourcefulness. With all of the problems afflicting Thebes, he is not absurd adequate to attempt to do whatever by himself.

He always knew the best individuals to ask for assistance. For example, he sends out Creon to ask the Oracle of Delphi the reason behind the plagues. Also, after striking a dead-end, he sends for the blind prophet, Tiresias, to help in the investigation of Laius’ murder. Moses, on the other hand, is not a born leader. While Moses killed an Egyptian in defense of a Hebrew, he only wanted to pretend it never ever happened. He was incapable of leading the Hebrews in rebellion; the only thing he could lead was sheep. He even admits his inability, making excuses to God and urging, “‘O my Lord, please send somebody else. ‘(Ex. 4:13). It was just with God’s direction that Moses was able to become a leader with the power to release the Hebrews. Compared to Oedipus, who depends on his own powers, Moses fades in comparison, as everything he does is reliant on God. God commands Moses to free the Hebrews; He enables Moses to perform miracles; He sends the ten plagues and parts the Red Sea. Moses just uses His words and power, essentially acting as His puppet and the bridge in between Him and His individuals. The difference in strength between the 2 leaders is apparent through their respective relationships with their fans.

Like a real leader, Oedipus has an overwhelming presence and commands the respect of his fans. When Oedipus states he will discover and bring to justice Laius’ killer, the people never waver or question him. Whether Oedipus has evidence of god to support him does not matter to them; in fact, they even believe in Oedipus over Tiresias, saying, But that a mortal seer [Tiresias] knows more than I know– where Hath this been shown? Or how without indication guaranteed, can I blame Him [Oedipus] who saved our State when the winged songstress came, Evaluated and tried in the light of us all, like gold assayed?

How can I now assent when a criminal offense is on Oedipus laid? (Socrates) Although Moses is also a successful leader in that he reaches his objective, his relationship with his followers is frail. When Moses increases the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments from God, issues arise following his absence. Without his presence, his followers wander off from the best path and start worshipping a golden calf, which contradicts their covenant with God. Moses can not hold the total faith of his followers like Oedipus can. While anyone has the prospective to become a leader, a real leader is one that is born.

Without God, Moses would be nothing more than another of the Hebrews oppressed by the Egyptians. In truth, God could have selected any of the other Hebrews and led them to the same outcome. Moses can not be called a true leader due to the fact that, although he leads the Hebrews, he is nothing more than an intermediary for God. The true leader is actually God. He is Moses’ guide and the perpetrator of the liberation of the Hebrews. Oedipus, on the other hand, proves himself to be a real leader. He achieves everything– defeating the Sphinx, becoming king, saving Thebes– through his own abilities and controls the complete respect of his followers.

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