Oedipus And His Tragic Traits. In Sophocles Play Oedipus

1017 WordsApr 24, 20175 Pages
Oedipus and His Tragic Traits In Sophocles play Oedipus the King, Sophocles depicts the horrible fate of Oedipus, a pompous, arrogant young ruler. The story begins in the Greek town of Thebes. A plague has descended upon the Thebians causing death and famine throughout the land. Oedipus, being the heroic king, takes full responsibility to find out the cause of their aliments. While working to discover the source of the plague, Oedipus stumbles upon the tragic truth of his heritage and the horrifying implications of his appointment to the throne. Unfortunately for Oedipus, everything ends in tragedy. With the suicide of his mother/wife and the self-inflicted blindness followed by exile from Thebes, Oedipus paved the path to his own…show more content…
In the end, Tiresias explains that Oedipus is to blame for Laius’s death, for he is the murderer. Oedipus naturally denies the claim and accuses Creon and Tiresias of conspiring against him, so that Creon can gain power. Even though Oedipus is in denial, he still adamantly seeks the truth held by the shepherd. He sends for him, and upon arrival the shepherd was timid to reveal the truth. Oedipus responded by calling to the guards, “Twist his arm back, quickly! (line 1269)” In the end of this scene Jocasta, wife of Oedipus, realizes the truth behind who her husband really is, and that the prophecy had been fulfilled and runs away. Oedipus then continues to question the shepherd further because he still fails to see what is right in front of him. This brings the audience to the third and fourth characteristics of Aristotle’s tragic hero: the reversal of fortune and the recognition that it was self-inflicted. In a rush of realization, Oedipus sees the truth that was in front of him and the audience throughout entire play. Oedipus, in utter agony, cries out and starts cursing the shepherd who had freed his ankles as a child. (lines 1481-1487) He then sees the correlation that marks him the killer of King Laius. The most horrifying realization to Oedipus was that he in fact had wed and procreated with his own mother. At this point heroic Oedipus has been
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