Alternate Characters Of ' Oedipus Rex ' Essay

1289 Words Apr 14th, 2015 6 Pages
Alternate Personalities in Oedipus Rex
In most current literature, there is a clear division between the protagonist and the antagonist. One is a clear hero and one is a clear villain. However, in Oedipus Rex, this is not true. In Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, the portrayal of Oedipus as both a hero and a villain impacts the envisioning of the audience as Oedipus, develops the audience members’ emotional bonds toward the character, and creates curiosity about what extent Oedipus deserved his fate.
Oedipus’ villainous persona isolates the audience from personal relation. For example, Oedipus brought the sickness upon Thebes. This is seen through as Oedipus gains knowledge about his past and who he truly is, the sickness upon Thebes lessens. However, when his hamartia prevents him from accepting fate, the sickness increases. This isolates the audience members from Oedipus because most probably they do not consider themselves to possess the same stubbornness as him. The audience members will not realize their own flaws until the relatable personality of Oedipus is revealed. Furthermore, Oedipus has an invincible mindset. Because Oedipus defeated the Sphinx, he felt as though he could bring out the killer of Laios yet he won’t admit the truth when it is first revealed to him. Oedipus’ overconfidence can lead the audience to find his personality as arrogant. This arrogance is shown through Oedipus having the priest address him as “O Great Oedipus, O powerful King of Thebes! You see…

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