Oedipus The King Research Paper

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Matthew Reichel Professor Rubenstein Antiquity and the Enlightenment—Question 1 10/22/12 The Perfect Leader What characterizes a good leader? Should a leader behave theatrically, full of demonstrative pride and personal ambition, or behave humbly in a selfless manner? A comparison of Moses in the Bible, and Oedipus in Oedipus the King, demonstrates that both Sophocles and the biblical author, share some similar perceptions of an ideal leader- he who is wise, seeks justice, and is willing to do anything to save his people. However, the two authors differ with regard to the question of whether or not a leader should demonstrate humility; the Bible advocates humble leaders, while Sophocles does not. This discrepancy is due to differences in the respective values of Hebrew and Greek cultures.…show more content…
In Oedipus the King, Sophocles describes Oedipus as a wise man. Upon reaching the entrance of Thebes, Oedipus encounters the Sphinx, a Greek mythological creature, who asks all travelers a riddle. If the traveler answers incorrectly, the Sphinx kills him/her, but if the person solves the riddle, the Sphinx would kill herself. For a long time, no one was able to solve this riddle until Oedipus came and, with “my wit alone”, solved the riddle and freed Thebes from the curse of the Sphinx (1,397). Thus Oedipus’ wisdom proves crucial to his ability to save his people from

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