Leadership In Sophocles 'Oedipus The King'

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Leaders. The idols of society or the loathed; those who fill other with hope or cause despair. Greek stories have told of great men who lead through tough time and rough times of their own. In the Greek tragedy play, Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, Oedipus is the King of Thebes during a time of a horrible plague. As the king, Oedipus must cleanse Thebes of the evils by demonstrating his ability to lead. Oedipus is a good leader because he displays essential characteristics of leadership, such as responsibility and trustworthiness, all without much violence and selfishness. However, when distraught, Oedipus lacks the the quality of a genuine, open mind.
From the beginning of the play, specifically the prologue, Oedipus displays and exceptional amount
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Through his actions and when confronted with stress and confusion, Oedipus displays his lack of composure and a clear head. This hinders his ability to accept new ideas and make sense of them. An example of this is present during his encounter with Tiresias, the blind prophet. When Tiresias tells Oedipus that he is the cause of the plague, Oedipus is in disbelief and assumes that he is working with Creon to overthrow him. He says with authority, “Are you speaking for Creon, or for yourself” (Sophocles 21)? Oedipus brings Creon into his question because he is paranoid that Creon, a close friend, would backstab him. Oedipus expects a direct answer to this questions, since he kept the the question short and directed the conversation. He already assumes that Teiresias is working with Creon, as he already made up his mind. To this, Tiresias replies, “Listen to me. You mock my blindness, do you? / But I say that you, with both your eyes, are blind” (Sophocles 22). Since Oedipus is clouded by his emotions, he believes that Tiresias is spouting lies. Tiresias takes this as mockery and uses irony to prove his point. Tiresias also knows that Oedipus does not have a genuine open mind, for he tried to get him to clear his mind by using “listen to me”. This exchange helps show how Oedipus defensive Oedipus acts when attacked. By asking a question Oedipus is just saying things in shock, letting his emotions and his defensive personality cloud him from making sense of the information Tiresias told him. This conversation also heightens the sense of foreboding when Tiresias calls Oedipus

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