Theme Of Arrogance In Sophocles Oedipus The King

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Unlike Plato, Aristotle believed that emotions could be meaningful. He believed that the essence of a tragedy is to teach people how to live a better life/be a better person. A tragedy had to be able to move the audience by triggering their emotions. Sophocles, a Greek playwright did this rather well. In his satire, “Oedipus the King”, he conveys a message to teach the audience about the consequences of arrogance. “Oedipus the King”, is a story about the noble king of Thebes. He was the “son” of Polybus and Merope, the rulers of Corinth. He found out that his prophecy was to kill his father and marry his mother. He tried to escape his fate by running off to Thebes. When he arrived, a Sphinx was sitting on the castle doors causing destruction …show more content…
At the very beginning of the play the narrator states, “The doors open. Guards assemble. Oedipus comes forward, majestic but for a telltale limp, and slowly views the condition of his people.” (“Oedipus the King”, time and scene). The reader can already infer that he holds a high place in society, and he also cares for those less fortunate than him. Because Oedipus has these traits, the audience will want to follow him throughout the story. From the following quotation, one can tell that Oedipus is a highly respected king: “I though it wrong, my children, to hear the truth from others. Here I am myself- you all know me, the world knows my fame: I am Oedipus.” (“Oedipus the King”, 6-9). One can already spot that Oedipus is arrogant. This will be important near the end of the play, to serve as the basis for the message that Sophocles will illustrate. After Tiresias accuses Oedipus of killing the old king Laius, the chorus responds with the following quotation: “Never will I convict my king, never in my heart.” (“Oedipus the King”, 572). Oedipus gained his respect after he ridded the Sphinx from Thebes, so the chorus feels that it is only fair that they don 't accuse him of murder. Oedipus satisfies the first characteristic of a tragic hero, because he is the king of Thebes, and his people respect him for his helpful …show more content…
Part of his downfall deals with fate. The other part deals with his arrogance and ignorance (his flaws). His arrogance led him into thinking that he could change things that he does not fully comprehend. After he fled Corinth, trying to escape his prophecy, he recalled killing an old man. Later that day he came to the city of Thebes, and solved the Sphinx’s riddle. Soon he married Jocasta (his mother), and together they had four children. When a plague hit Thebes, Oedipus went to Tiresias, the blind prophet, for answers. Triesias warns Oedipus that he is not stable enough to know the truth. After a series of bickering, Tiresias tells Oedipus that he is the reason for the curse on the land, and that he was the one who killed king Laius. This causes Oedipus to loose his temper. He then tries to gain more information about King Laius’ death. He accuses Creon, which increases the tension between them. Jocasta tries to comfort him, and tells him not to worry about it, but this causes him to question even more. A messenger from Corinth comes to ask Oedipus to take his adoptive father’s throne. When the messenger talks with Oedipus, Jocasta realizes the prophecy is true, and flees the discussion (Oedipus believed that she was going to be embarrassed if he was not of royal blood [this shows how ignorant he is]). Oedipus then calls in the shepherd that took him to Corinth when he was a baby (after Laius tried to kill him [after hearing about

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