Oedipus' Hamartia

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Oedipus’ Hamartia Hamartia or “tragic flaw” justifies the outcome of a character in a specific situation due to a key mental or physical trait. Oedipus has no single immediately obvious flaws that could be tied to his fate in Thebes. He does however have two traits that when combined impede his judgment and ultimately seal his destiny. The combination of excessive pride and an atrocious temperament leads to the egregious demise that Oedipus encounters. While it is perfectly plausible to argue that Oedipus had no specific “tragic flaw”, there are two character traits that combined, couple to form a flaw that leads ultimately to the demise of Oedipus Rex. If Oedipus’ fate were indeed predestined, then regardless of his actions he would have ended up in the same place. Suffice to say that even if Oedipus were the perfect person, he would have ended up fulfilling the prophecy made of him. From this we can conclude that it is unlikely that the outcome of the play was governed by fate, since Sophocles would have little to no reason to write what he did. If fate indeed determined destiny then what was to happen would have happened and Oedipus could have done nothing to prevent it, the play would be boring and Sophocles no more than a simple play write. From the eyes of the reader Oedipus could be deemed reckless and careless. On the other hand, from Oedipus’ viewpoint he was doing the right thing all along. He left who he believed to be his parents, killed a group of who he assumed were bandits and started an inquiry into what he believed would save his city and avenge a fallen king; These are astonishingly human actions, with no grounds for being judged as “tragic flaws” in any sense of the term. What Oedipus’ true flaw was is not a single characteristic but a coupling of intense pride and a vicious temperament. Like many Kings throughout history, Oedipus was proud
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