The Imperfect Oedipus

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The Imperfect Oedipus When the character Oedipus from Sophocles’ play Oedipus is mentioned, one might think of a great ruler that freed the city of Thebes from the curse of the Sphnix. While Oedipus does come off as a confident and intelligent man, he did free the city and become kind practically overnight, he can also be viewed as a character with many flaws. Oedipus is a man that tries to escape his fate and in doing so he puts false accusations on people and defies his gods. Oedipus’ most apparent flaws are his impulsiveness, blindness to the truth, false accusation of others, and over confidence. During the play, Oedipus realizes his own flaws while he investigates who the "true killer" of Laius is. The first character flaw is presented in the play Oedipus is Oedipus acting impulsively. When Oedipus first heard his prophecy from the Delphi oracle, he made an exodus out of Corinth as soon as he could. While on his journey to Thebes, a caravan cut him off. Enraged, Oedipus killed all the men except one. Only later did Oedipus know that one of the men he killed was his father Laius. If Oedipus had not been so swift to action, then maybe the first part of his fate wouldn't have been fulfilled. The second flaw of Oedipus’, blindness to the truth, is made clear by Teriresias when he states “But I say to you, with both your eyes, are blind: - You cannot see the wretchedness of your life]” (Sophocles 1175). Oedipus does not want to believe that he is the one that murdered Laius, even though he knows that he encountered a similar incidence like the one when Laius was killed. Another example of Oedipus’ “blindness” is when Jocasta is telling him about the prophecy given to her that her son would kill his father and about her binding her child’s ankles; Oedipus also shares with her a similar prophecy and does not think about his swollen feet being caused by Jocasta

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