The Pride Of Oedipus The King Essay — страница 2

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hero of superior intelligence, also displays an uncompromising attitude in his loyalty to Thebes. This is another factor that led to the tragic figure’s ruin. The story of Oedipus fascinates us because of the spectacle of a man freely choosing, from the highest motives, a series of actions which lead to his ruin. Oedipus could leave the city of Thebes and let the plague take its course, but pity for the sufferings of his people and the fear for his own life compelled him to consult Delphi. When Creon returns and bring back Apollo’s word, he could leave the murder of Laius uninvestigated, but pride and justice cause him to act. Oedipus cannot let a murder investigation go by without solving the riddle of who killed King Laius because his pride overpowers him. Oedipus’ pride

reveals itself again in his loyalty to the truth. Oedipus’ constant struggle to discover the truth ruined him most in the end. Even though he is warned many times to stop seeking the truth, he continues his search. Oedipus has to choose between his doom and an alternative, which if accepted would betray the hero’s own conception of himself, his rights, his duties. In the end, the hero refused to yield. He remains true to himself. Therefore, one can see Oedipus’ need to uncover the truth about Laius and then about himself as proof of his commitment to uphold his own nature. Oedipus’ quest for the truth fits his self image as a man of action, the revealer of truth, and the solver of riddles. He doesn’t seem to realize the personal consequences his hunt will have for him.

It appears to me as though his loyalty to the truth is based upon his ignorance of it. He cannot live with a lie, and therefore must learn the truth behind the illusion he has lived for so long. Tiresias, Jocasta, and the herdsman all try to stop Oedipus, but he must reveal the answer to the last riddle, that of his own life. As the truth unfolds, the people of Thebes see Oedipus as prideful and arrogant, and they call on Zeus to correct his pride. The hero’s conscious choice to pursue and accept his doom makes him a tragic figure. Oedipus single-handedly ruined his own life through his overweening pride. He let his pride as a hero, a loyal King, and a truth seeker stand in the way of a life full of happiness. This turned him into a tragic figure. He is a victim of fate, but

not a puppet because he freely sought his doom though warned not to pursue it. Fate may have determined his past actions, but what he did at Thebes he did as a free individual. It was his own choice to kill the men on his way to Delphi, his own choice to seek an answer to heal his people and save himself, and his own choice to learn the truth. Oedipus claimed full responsibility, as any hero would, when the chorus asked, “What superhuman power drove you on?” (l. 1466). “…the hand that struck my eyes was mine, / mine alone – no one else – / I did it all myself!” (ll. 1469 – 1471) was his response. Sophocles ends this tragic story by warning his audience not to take anything for granted or they will suffer like Oedipus, a lesson many should heed. In my own theory

about Oedipus the King, I see a righteous man with a good heart and good intentions. However, by seeking justice in the truth, he faces devastation and is destroyed by his own pride. Therefore, it’s pity that is felt as a result, because at some level, his fate could be our own. This tragedy reminds us that even the bravest, those known throughout the world for their knowledge, are doomed if they set themselves up against the mystery of life itself, and if they try to force life to answer them, they may very well self-destruct as Oedipus had.