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How far should Oedipus as represented in the Oedipus Rex be regarded as an insolent tyrant who not only deserved but aggravated his own fate?

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Matthew Belcher How far should Oedipus as represented in the Oedipus Rex be regarded as an insolent tyrant who not only deserved but aggravated his own fate? Oedipus the King is regarded as having one of the greatest theatrical plots of all the Greek plays. The story of Oedipus, the man who killed his Father and married his Mother, would have been a very old story in Sophocles' time which everyone would have known, but because of his skill at creating suspense, as the answers often right in front of Oedipus as well as creating pity and even fear for Oedipus as he slowly finds out the truth, the play goes down as a great dramatic masterpiece. Therefore it is imperative that the character of Oedipus is examined closely as he is clearly not a one dimensional character. He begins the play as a wise intelligent man who cares about his people with a willingness to act. He ends the play as a blind, weak man who had gradually become impatient and somewhat self obsessed. He jumps to conclusions quickly blaming Creon for Laius' death and concluding that Creon must be working with the Oracle to hatch a plot to gain the throne of Thebes; this turns out to be entirely fictional. However despite these switches between positive and negative virtues he doesn't deserve his fate of marrying his Mother and killing his Father. ...read more.


This shows that even though he is blind he is getting Creon to remove him from the land for the sake of his people, for he is the murderer of Laius and as long as he is within Thebes the plague will continue. This shows that he isn't using his leadership for personal gain, even though he has noting much to live for and would believe the gods hate him already so if he were to take advantage of his leadership he has nothing much to loose really, but his self sacrifice to save his people shows how is almost the opposite of a tyrant. It is important to look a the individual characteristics of Oedipus before looking at whether he deserved or aggravated his fate, and how the audience at the time would of sympathized with him. He shows bother positive and negative virtues in this play but through out I think he is a caring, respectful and self-sacrificing character who wants to help his people. He first shows this during his speech to the priest saying 'I pity you' showing his sadness that his people are suffering with this plague. Also, after he has blinded himself, he wishes to hug his children before he is finally sent away and tells Creon to look after then like his own, showing he is doing what best for the children. ...read more.


However, he did solve the riddle of the sphinx and saved a lot of people, it doesn't seem right that he should have a fate as he did after saving Thebes from plague. This was seemingly transpired against his since before he was born to marry his mother and kill his father, and it would seem that there was nothing he could do to stop it. Also his ignorance to his heritage mean that he had know idea he was committing such a hubristic act, therefore how could the audience see his as a disgraceful character, but rather just an unlucky one as it were. To conclude, I believe that he wasn't an insolent tyrant, he was a good king who cared about his people and in the end sacrificed his lively hood in order to save them from plague. I believe he was also a good person, who was inelegant and had a willingness to act, and its easy when we know the story to say he should of stopped and was jumping to conclusions, but you have to consider the fact he was completely convinced he knew who his pedants were and that he didn't kill Laius, so when people refuse to talk and accuse him of killing him, it understandable that he suspects a plot against himself. However, I do believe that he aggravated his own fate, by continually damning himself in his speeches and trying to come to the truth himself rather then relying on others. HowHHHHHSHSHDD ...read more.

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