The Theme of Hubris in Ancient Greek Mythology and Literature

681 Words3 Pages
Hubris is a very popular theme in Greek mythology. Hubris was a very important moral concept to the Greeks. Committing hubris was a very serious crime. Hubris is defined as having extreme pride or arrogance. Pride became hubris when it became all consuming or hurtful to others. Other actions that were seen as hubris were acting as if you were equal or more powerful than the gods, or trying to defy them. Hubris was a severe crime that deserved a serious punishment, and it was the downfall of many characters in ancient myths. The importance of Hubris to the Greeks is made obvious by how often it appears as a main theme in their myths. Three stories that show examples of hubris are Oedipus The King, Antigone, and The Story of Phaethon in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The theme of hubris can be seen throughout Oedipus The King, and is the reason for the downfall of more than one character. Oedipus’ parents, are the first to commit hubris; instead of letting destiny take its course, they acted as if they were more powerful. They attempted to destroy their child and change their fate. Oedipus’ adoptive parents also commit hubris, as they lie to him about his past. Like his parents, Oedipus’ believes that he can change his own destiny. His hubris leads to him being irrational, and jumping to conclusions without first analyzing things. This is what leads him to eventually kill his biological father. Oedipus might have been able to save his biological mother’s life, had he not been too
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