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In Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, hubris is the essential cause of Oedipus downfall because it is the reason why Oedipus killed King Laius

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´╗┐Amini Solomon Amini Mrs. MJ English 10 H, Period 3 12 October 2012 When Hubris Runs Wild People are naturally imperfect. All humans in their natural state have a certain amount of hubris because they are flawed and tend to make immoral decisions based on what their egos tell them. Although people like to believe that they are selfless and do good deeds all of the time, that in itself is hubris because they think too highly of themselves. Pride and arrogance can blind a person from the truth, like the pupil in the poem ?The Book of Wisdom? by Steven Crane, but the moment that a person realizes how knowledgeable he or she actually is?that is the moment that a person opens his or her eyes for the first time. For example, suppose you thought you were really good at basketball because you always beat your little brothers at the game, but then you play with kids your own age, and you realize you are not as good as you think you are. The reason why you would make such a wrong assumption is because you have pride and arrogance like the protagonist in the tragedy Oedipus Rex. ...read more.


For instance, when Teiresias accuses him of killing Laius, Oedipus furiously cries, ?You dare say that! Can you possibly think you / have / Some way of going free, after such insolence?? (19). Here, Oedipus conceitedness blinds him. He does not want to admit to himself and especially the people of Thebes that he is the pollution, the murderer, and the abomination that is slowly destroying the country when he himself is the king. If he did not have such ignorance and believed in Teiresias? words, perhaps he would have had more time to come up with a solution, like giving up the throne and quietly traveling to a country far away. Another example of how his hubris blinds him is when he talks about how he heard his terrible prophecy, for he smugly remarks, ?I have kept clear of Corinth, and no harm has / come? / Though it would have been sweet to see my parents again? (52). This proves that Oedipus is crippled by what he already knows and falsely assumes that he has already escaped from the prophecy involving his parents. If Oedipus did not always assume things, he would have been able to put the pieces together faster, and his anagnorisis would not have occurred after everyone else had figured out the truth. ...read more.


Unfortunately, his one tragic flaw prevents from living the happy life at the top of society that he could have had. Hubris is the main reason for Oedipus? peripeteia because it is the reason why he killed King Laius in the first place, it prevents him from discovering the truth sooner, and it causes him to commit blasphemy and anger the gods. In the end, the major sin he committed all began with his mistake of letting his hubris run wild and allowing himself to be angered by the trivial matter of respecting his own father. Also, his stubbornness in not listening to other people?s reason before his own makes him the last person to realize that the prophecies were all true. The gods are not happy with the excessive pride he protects and how he refuses to bow down to their superiority, so they make him suffer for the rest of his life. In conclusion, all of the suffering and change in fortune that Oedipus goes through is ultimately the result of his hubris: his excessive pride, arrogance, insolence, and pomposity. Therefore, the lesson taught by Sophocles in this beautiful tragedy is that no matter who you are or where you come from, do not count your chickens before they are hatched. ...read more.

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