Sophocles ' Oedipus The King Essay

1042 Words Nov 12th, 2014 5 Pages
Sophocles’ tragic play, Oedipus the King, serves as yet another didactic tool of Ancient Greek culture. It heavily focuses on the recurrent theme that a fate assigned by the gods can not be escaped by any means. Sophocles embodies this theme through his tragic hero Oedipus. Even though Oedipus proves himself as a confident capable leader, his tragic flaw is seen through his consistent use of human reason in his attempt to locate the murderer of king Laius. His hubris contributes to his downfall because it allows him to think he can use reason to conquer his fate. Oedipus’ use of reason not only brings him closer to his fate, but ultimately forces him to fall victim to it, proving that even the wisest of men stand no chance against the will of the gods. Once Oedipus is introduced in the play, he is described as the ideal leader, confident, determined and respected. He had saved Thebes by solving the riddle of the Sphinx, and is now regarded as a wise hero. This empowers Oedipus and gives him a greater sense of self assurance. His hubris then allows him to think that his human reason, in other words the solutions he finds for a more livable world are in fact infallible. He is constantly praised, which is demonstrated when a priest visits him. The priest asks him to save Thebes once again when a disastrous plague comes upon the city. He says “Oedipus, greatest in all men’s eyes,/here falling at your feet we all entreat you,/find us some strength for rescue.”(Oedipus the…

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