Hubris In Oedipus The King

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In Ancient Greek theatre one type of character that was commonly used in plays was the tragic hero. The tragic hero is defined as a character who makes a judgement error that inevitably leads them to his or her own downfall. There are a multitude of different characteristics and traits that applies to the tragic hero in an Ancient Greek theatre story such as a change of fortune called peripeteia, a tragic hero’s inability to see their flaw called hamartia, but hubris, defined as a character having excessive pride or self-confidence, is arguably the most important because it is what causes a tragic hero’s error of judgement. A famous Ancient Greek tragedian named Sophocles was one of the very few playwrights of his time that realized the importance…show more content…
In this story the tragic hero’s name is Oedipus who was a king that was determined to stop the plague that infected his land, but throughout the story made many judgement errors which lead him to his downfall. One error of judgement caused by his hubris was when Tiresias, a blind prophet, told Oedipus that he was the one who had killed Laius and Oedipus responded by denying that he would ever do such a thing and practically called him crazy by saying “Nor I have ever summoned you if I’d known you’d go foaming at the mouth.” (Roche and Sophocles 24). That scene exemplifies how Oedipus’ over pridefulness caused him to deny the truth of a prophet and how it made it so that his land continued to be infected with the plague. A second error of judgement caused by Oedipus’ hubris was when shortly after being told that he was prophesied to kill his father and marry his mother he quickly left his hometown of Corinth in an attempt to change his fate. The reason that Oedipus deciding to leave Corinth was an error of judgement is because it was when he was on his journey away from Corinth that he killed the man who was his biological father and married the queen of Thebes who was his biological mother. Another thing that is important to note is if it wasn't for Oedipus’ extreme confidence that he could change his fate then he…show more content…
Creon, the tragic hero of the story, is similar to Oedipus in the way that their errors of judgment were caused by their hubris and that it lead to their downfall, but they were different in the sense that Oedipus was told his fate before he made his errors of judgment whereas Creon never knew his fate. One error of judgment caused by hubris took place when Creon’s son Haemon tried to warn him that the people of Thebes were not happy about his decision to imprison Antigone and if he didn't let her go they might turn on him. Creon refused to take Haemon’s advice because he’s so stubborn that he believed that he's in charge of the state not the people, so they don't have any say in government matters. Eventually the conversation got so heated to the point that Creon screamed “You shall not rant and jeer at me without reprisal. Off with the wretched girl! I say she dies in front of him, before her bridegroom’s eyes.” (Roche and Sophocles 225). The error of judgment caused by hubris that Creon made during that scene was not listening to Haemon’s advice and being too harsh on him. The reason is because if Creon wasn't so over prideful of himself then he would have listened to Haemon about releasing Antigone and could have possibly avoided his downfall because Antigone would have released in time and Haemon would never have committed
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