Leadership In Oedipus The King

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Is there such realistic idea of a perfect leader? While in one’s imagination, the notion of a flawless leader is an acceptable principle, humans are composed of contrasts and flaws rather than consistent, perfect virtue. The archetype of the leader suggests an idolized character (Shadraconis), but it can also be challenged. Such a scenario occurs in Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, a renowned Ancient Greek Tragedy that illustrates the leadership, and the subsequent catastrophe of King Oedipus who begins to disclose the truth about his past. Throughout the play, Oedipus is consistently combatting his avidity for information and power. Sophocles illustrates the inherent contrasts in Oedipus’ character: Egoism and Altruism, Oblivion and Realism, …show more content…
The internal conflict between Oedipus’ selfishness and selflessness is ongoing from the beginning, with the first scene of the play introducing a benevolent and compassionate Oedipus. The play’s first line is “O[o]h my children” (Sophocles 1) , and the citizens of the polis are described as the hero’s “great family” (22). The notion of a family depicts a character that constitutes a key figure by helping the citizens and nurtures them unconditionally. Oedipus then claims that “S[s]ick as you are, not one is sick as I” (72). His consideration of himself as a victim derives from his desire to defend his loyal citizens and is said with a passionate tone, illustrating Oedipus’ altruistic tendencies. Ironically, however, this also depicts his tendency to passively victimizing himself, without having been affected by the plague; rather than sympathy, this portrays a character that is ultimately self-centered and thus also egoistic. He believes his power is superior to all others and tries to justify his abuse of this power by stating that he is wearing a “crown the city gave” (436). The crown, a symbol of superiority, demonstrates his firm belief that his political status as king justifies his immeasurable wealth and condescension. On the other hand, a sense of responsibility can still be heard throughout the first parts of the text. Oedipus is greatly concerned with the plague, until the plot twist that is the confrontation with Tiresias, after which, he avoids discussing what has been his people’s concern with anyone else. He develops an obsession with his personal truth and favors his individual matters over those of the society, while there is ironically an undisclosed connection between them. Ultimately, when facing

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