Comparing Oedipus and Pentheus Essay

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Oedipus and Pentheus are both tragic Greek characters who help create their own endings. Through their character's flaws and blindness to what is going on around each of them, the story develops. The only consistent character in both plays who is able to understand past and present dangers is Teiresias, the blind prophet.

Oedipus thinks his human powers can match anything put in front of him. He forces other characters to tell him things, which again creates his tragic ending. (O790) Oedipus by not knowing his identity seems to create his own tragedy. Throughout the entire play, he is blind to everything people are telling him. (O320) He continues to badger Teiresias to answer things that Oedipus does not believe is true. If he
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He could not believe anything could harm him. (B270) Pentheus in his own conceit thinks he can do anything. He feels he is so powerful that no man is above him. (B476) He is not able to see that Dionysus is a god because he is in human form. Pentheus needs to see everything before he can accept it. (B255) By Pentheus agreeing to dress up like a woman, he is asking for a tragic ending. He now begins to listen to Dionysus who he had bound with chains before. He shows how gullible he is, to think Dionysus will now help him. He cannot see himself being set up to take a large fall. (B310) When Teiresias tells Pentheus "Do not be so certain that power is what matters in life," Pentheus still feels confident. Pentheus was doomed because he did not believe other peoples word about the power of Dionysus. Teiresias was the only character to be able to see things as they were. Even though physically weak, old, and blind he seemed to be mentally strong. (B190) This passage shows that being blind and feeble does not mean that one can not enjoy life. He was able to talk about the future as easily as the past. (B360) Teiresias is able to feel that the gods are more powerful and we as mortals must obey their pleasures. In our experiences, we generally think of blindness as a weakness. In both these tragedies, Teiresias' blindness became his strength.
In Oedipus, while he continues to ask questions the blind prophet was the only

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