Essay on Pride in Oedipus and Othello

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Pride in Oedipus and Othello

In literature, the tragic heroes Oedipus and Othello allow the pride they have to cause their own demise by putting too much emphasis on the lives they have created for themselves. Oedipus, who blinds himself after finding out he has killed his birth father and married his birth mother, refuses to believe he has truly fulfilled his fate because he is so proud of what he has accomplished since he left Corinth. Othello demonstrates his pride by believing that the people closest to him would never betray him because of his powerful position as a General of the armies in Venice. Both characters example of hubris, or excessive pride, causes the downfall in their lives, which eventually leads to life-long
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Since he is the man he is looking for, it is impossible to tell if he will go through with his word and kill the true “murderer” as he says in his soliloquy.
The only credit that Sophocles will give Oedipus is when he begins to piece the different stories together. The story that the people say about Laïos’ death is that he was murdered by many men, not just one man whereas Oedipus was one man who killed many when he fled Corinth.

“Oedipus: This much: If his account of the murder tallies with yours, then I am cleared. Iocastê: What was it that I said of such importance? Oedipus: Why, “marauders,” you said, killed the King, according to this man’s story. If he maintains that still, if there were several, clearly the guilt is not mine: I was alone. But if he says one man, singlehanded, did it, then the evidence all points to me” (Sophocles 184 lines 309-319).

In this passage Oedipus questions whether or not he is truly to blame for the murder of Laïos, but in his heart, he doesn’t think it could be his fault. Sophocles uses this moment to allow the reader to see what is really going on in the play. Because of this, the plot becomes a little clearer and we begin to see how the story will play out in the end. After making the oath to kill the man who murdered Laïos, his pride allows him to feel obligated to do what he can when he finds out that he is the reason the king is
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