Who Is Oedipus Selfish

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Oedipus the King, penned by famed philosopher Aristotle, is one of the greatest tales of tragedy. Nothing is more tragic in this tale than the downfall of Oedipus, the egotistical ruler of Thebes. Oedipus is faced with several challenges that threaten his authority, however it’s his overwhelming sense of pride that leads to his downfall. This devastating fall from grace is what made this story so unique. Oedipus long thought his hubris is what made him powerful against his enemies, when in actuality he was his own worst enemy; the poor, and often ill-informed, life choices Oedipus made is to be appreciated. Oedipus displayed several examples of hubris in his overly confident proclamations. Oedipus had the tendency to make statements in which…show more content…
When the oracle informs Oedipus of his future incestuous marriage and his slaying of his father, Oedipus foolishly believes he is powerful enough to prevent his destiny. Obviously he did not succeed. Oedipus is so clouded by his hubris he does not realize he has already committed such acts. Oedipus’ head is so high up in the clouds he has long lost touch with reality. While his destiny gifted him a meteoric rise it also preludes to an even more rapid fall. This arrogance is to be appreciated, as we are gifted a character who is so far from distinguishing right from…show more content…
Despite Laius being killed by Oedipus himself, Oedipus’ hubris prevents him from realizing so. Therefore, Oedipus has no problem cursing the one who killed the beloved Laius. “And this curse, too, against the one who did it,/whether alone in secrecy, or with other:/may he wear out his life unblest and evil” (Oedipus 251-253)! This is a ludicrous statement for Oedipus to make, as he is the one who will undoubtedly face this curse. The ironic aspect of this is that Oedipus clearly lays out his fall, which could have been avoided had he not been so self-obsessive. This blatant disregard for self-awareness, once again, makes this story one to be much appreciated. Oedipus truly believed his intellect and assertiveness would trump all, including the Gods. His challenging of fate and destiny is laughable at best, as he has always been his greatest challenge. Oedipus’ personality is quite similar to that of his mother’s, but I’ll spare defending why this is what made them such a delightful couple. The overwhelming pride they both spewed and claimed made the powerful was in fact what made them weak. The hubris he displayed-prideful proclamations, dismissal of the oracle, and cursing of the murderer-all led to his tragically entertaining

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