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Oedipus Rex Essay

  • Submitted by: jonesginni
  • on September 7, 2008
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,063 words

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Below is an essay on "Oedipus Rex" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

It is said that self inflicted pain is the worst to have, for one must blame that pain only on himself.. In the Greek drama Oedipus Rex, Oedipus, the protagonist and tragic hero, is full of hubris, which is arrogance resulting from excessive pride. Many times throughout this story, the readers not only get to take a glimpse at Oedipus’ pride and hunger for power, but they get to watch as it becomes his downfall, as well.
Oedipus’ pride is revealed to us when, as king, he takes the responsibility to find the “pollution” that is putting the plague on Thebes. On Page 473, starting on line 154, we begin to see hubris is Oedipus’ attitude. “OEDIPUS: I will bring this to light again. King Phoebus fittingly took this care about the deed, and you too fittingly. And justly you will see in me an ally, a champion of my country and the God. For when I drive pollution from the land I will not serve a distant friend’s advantage, but act in my own interest. Whoever he was that killed the king may readily wish to dispatch me with his murderous hand; so helping the dead king I help myself.” On line 255, this continues: “OEDIPUS: I forbid that man, whoever he be, my land, my land where I hold sovereignty and throne; and I forbid any to welcome him or cry him greeting or make him a sharer in sacrifice or offering to the Gods, or give him water for his hands to wash. I command all to drive him from their homes, since he is our pollution, as the oracle of Pytho’s God proclaimed him now to me….[266]Upon the murderer I invoke this curse-whether he is one man and all unknown, or one of many-may he wear out his life in misery to miserable doom! If with my knowledge he lives at my hearth I pray that I myself may feel my curse.” After Creon expresses that the plague is on Thebes only because of the murderer of the previous king, King Laius, Oedipus is bound and determined to find out who is the cause of this disaster. Without knowing that he killed King Laius, his own father, he begins to...

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