The Cruel Transformation in Oedipus the King Essay
When we look in the mirror, do we see what other people see or do we see what we delude ourselves into believing is the truth? Self-realization is a complicated concept, one which many Greek dramatists used in order to clarify the themes of their tragedies. In Oedipus the King, Sophocles ties Oedipus’ journey to self-realization with the main theme of the story. As Oedipus slowly begins to realize his true self, he transforms from a proud and heroic king into a tyrant in denial into a scared, condemned man, humbled by his tragic fate.
In the beginning, Oedipus is portrayed as a confident, powerful hero. His bravery and worth are proved when the reader learns how he …show more content…
Soon, however, Oedipus' character changes to a man in denial—a man more like a tyrant than a king—as he begins to solve the new riddle of Laius' death. A growing paranoia grips Oedipus when Jocasta recounts the story of her husband's murder, leading the king to suspect his own past actions. He remarks, absentmindedly, "Strange, hearing you just now . . . my mind wandered, my thoughts racing back and forth" (800-02). Yet Oedipus is not quick to blame himself for the plague of the city—indeed he tries to place the burden onto others as he continues his investigation, blindly trusting his own superior ability while ignoring the damaging evidence that surrounds him. For example, when Tiresias accuses Oedipus of being the murderer, the king