Oedipus Character Analysis

Decent Essays

In Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus Rex, Oedipus experiences his downfall from glory due to unfortunate fate and his tragic character flaw of arrogance. As Oedipus and Tiresias converse over the fate of Thebes, Oedipus begs for Tiresias to reveal who is the murderer of Laius. Instead, Tiresias asks to be sent home and suggests that they both bear their own burdens for it would be better that way. Doubtful, Oedipus replies with, “Strange response...unlawful, unfriendly too to the state that bred and reared you - you withhold the word of god” (Sophocles 367-368). In other words, Oedipus is implying that it is Tiresias’ duty to share his knowledge from the gods and by not doing so, he is breaking the law. Oedipus is exhibiting arrogance in this situation by deciding that it is unlawful for Tiresias to withhold information from him. It seems as if Oedipus views himself to be above the law and therefore holds more power than Tiresias, even though they are both looked up to by Thebes. Oedipus never considers as to why Tiresias will not share certain information with him. If Oedipus would humble himself enough to take Tiresias’ advice to heart, he might have been able prevent his downfall. Oedipus’ arrogance towards Tiresias leads to him being ignorant of other matters in his life. Oedipus should have showed more empathy towards Tiresias and been more understanding when he pleaded to keep his knowledge of Lauis’ murder to himself. As Oedipus and Tiresias continue to converse, Tiresias

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