Oedipus the King- Tragic Defect
Maura Katona Mrs. Burke Contemp. Styles in Lit. 6 October 2009 Oedipus as a Terrible Hero There are several qualities that make a terrible hero worthwhile of popularity. All excellent heros throughout literature and history have been of honorable birth, been fated by the gods to catastrophe, recorded compassion from the audience, and had an awful flaw. Oedipus the King had all of these attributes throughout his history and family. Oedipus posses qualities that are both empowering and a failure. Since predictions play a big function in the story of Oedipus the King, we see the prophecies surfacing numerous times throughout the play.
As Tiresias prophesies, “I say without knowing it you are living in outrageous intimacy with your nearest and dearest. You do not see the evil in which you live. […] You have actually buffooned at my loss of sight, but you, who have eyes, can not see the living, nor with whom you share your house. […] Without understanding it, you are the enemy of your own flesh and blood, the dead below and living here above.” (Oedipus pg. 25) Tiresias tells Oedipus of the history he will soon find out is all real and precise. Oedipus declines to believe the prophecy. He does not know he was born of noble birth to Jocasta and Laius.
From birth, Oedipus had actually been fated by the gods to suffer. A prediction was sent out to Laius stating his kid would kill him and so Laius attempted to abandon Oedipus for great. As Jocasta described, “a prophecy came to Laius once- I wont say from Apollo himself, but from his priests. It stated that Laius was fated to die by the hand of his kid, a son to be born to him and to me. Well, Laius, so the story goes, was killed by foreign robbers at a place where 3 highways satisfy.” (Oedipus pg. 41) As his spouse explains this prophecy, Oedipus starts to understand that he has a possible tie into the scenario and begins to see evidence of the prophecy oming true. Oedipus’ tragic flaw was his blindness and ignorance to the events around him, and likewise his extreme pride and hubris. He declined to believe the predictions in the beginning, and felt that he might do no wrong since he was such an excellent and powerful king. Because he had simply saved the city of Thebes from menstruation of the Sphinx, Oedipus was confidant and assured of his position on the planet. As we see in the start of the unique, when Oedipus states, “Here I am, myself, world famous Oedipus” (Oedipus pg. 6), we see that he was full of pride and assurance that everyone knew who he was.
Towards completion of the play, Oedipus’ fate had been exposed and the prophecies proven true. The audience is caught with pity for the unfortunate king and his downfall. We see the impacts on his family and children given that his daughters can no longer marry as an outcome of incest within their home. It is had to have feelings besides compassion for a male who inadvertently eliminated his own father, wed his mom, and was the subject of an unfortunate life and prediction. Oedipus, though called an Awful Hero, inevitably end up being the subject of disaster in the play.
Oedipus always seemed to try to do the best thing such as discover the murderer of Laius. His self-confidence and pride however, led his search in a various direction. As soon as the predictions are supported, Oedipus has a minute of anagnorisis where he appears less inhabited by hubris and more occupied by feelings closer to that of a routine male. Although his achievements might not surpass his downfalls, every person can argue that all true heros possess a flaw that might or might not be an outcome of fate instead of free choice.