Oedipus The King Aristotle

Decent Essays
When you think of a tragedy, what comes to mind? A sad story? A terrible fate? Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, is a Greek play that Aristotle regards as “the perfect example of tragedy”. The play follows the fall of a man running from a terrible destiny. However, despite his intentions, he fulfills the very destiny he tries so hard to avoid. As the town discovers what happened, everyone, including Oedipus, struggles to come to terms with what has passed. Oedipus’ self-blinding is an attention-seeking act, because of how, like Oedipus himself, it was dramatic, and was a result of his pride.
Oedipus can be viewed as dramatic due to his excessively overplayed interactions with the other characters. During the scene with Tiresias, due to his reluctance to provide information in regard to Laius’ death, Oedipus is annoyed and eventually is filled with rage toward Tiresias. Despite Tiresias being averse to revealing his “dreadful secrets” (20), Oedipus continues to question and mock him in hopes of getting helpful information out of the old seer. Ultimately, Tiresias gives up and says, in truth, that Oedipus is “the murderer… the unholy defilement of this land” (21). Oedipus rejects the truth, within his exaggerated accusations that Tiresias has “invented this story” (23) to harm him. With this, Oedipus’ dramatic actions represent the motif of blindness.
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However, his pride and arrogance prompts a blindness against the truth. This blindness leads Oedipus down the road to misery and darkness. Oedipus is told that he “would be better dead than blind” (76), because his people believe that the act was unnecessary. Physically blinding himself only furthers his torment as opposed to shielding himself from it, in the sense that he would be better off dead. His arrogance blinds him from seeing the truth and instead of accepting it, he lets it become his
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