Theme Of Hubris In Oedipus

Decent Essays

Hubris is defined by the Webster-Miriam dictionary as “Exaggerated pride or confidence” (Miriam-Webster Dictionary). In Oedipus The King by Sophocles, the onslaught of pain assailing the protagonist is a result of his tragic flaws. Sophocles often used a characters’ flaw to influence the outcome or future of the hero. Oedipus' hubris influences him to fulfill the oracle and further intensify his punishment from the Gods. Oedipus' pride is an essential characteristic throughout the play. Even before Oedipus came into power as the King of Thebes he allowed his arrogance to control his judgment and reign over his actions. Oblivious to his knowledge, Oedipus fulfills Apollo's oracle when he encounters a band of men at a crossroad. The driver offends Oedipus as he brushes by, inciting Oedipus' anger. Although the contact is just a slight intrusion, Oedipus, outraged that someone would have the gall to trouble him and ends up killing all of them. “A thief, so daring, so wild, he’d kill a king? Impossible unless conspirators paid him off in Thebes.” (p. 621 ln.140-142) in which unknowingly Oedipus is describing himself, as he recalls the incident to his wife and biological mother Jocasta he is not remorseful for the loss of life nor for his part in the crime. Instead, Oedipus comes off as that he is satisfied that he had taken revenge. Had his arrogance and pride not interfered, Oedipus would not have made the rash decision to kill all of the party

Get Access