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Pride of Oedipus in Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Oedipus is the main character of Sophocles’ tragedy titled Oedipus Rex, a book recognized as one of the most important in Ancient Greece. Oedipus is a complex character who has both virtues and negative traits, one of which is “hubris,” the Greek word for pride. Eventually, hubris expressed by Oedipus, which is particularly excessive, affects his fate and leads him to his tragic end.

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Oedipus demonstrates his pride from the beginning of the play and especially in the scene of the killing of King Laius. Oedipus encountered Laius in his chariot, who was traveling with his entourage and tried to run over Oedipus, who in return killed Laius and his people in a fit of uncontrolled rage (Sophocles, 2020). Essentially, due to his excessive pride, Oedipus refused to discuss the conflict with Laius and instead decided to simply commit mass murder, unknowingly killing his father. Another instance of pride in Oedipus is his dismissal of the idea that he is the murderer of King Laius, voiced by Teiresias (Sophocles, 2020). Basically, Oedipus’ pride makes him unable to face reality and even attempt to consider the thought of him killing his father. The final manifestation of Oedipus’ pride is his refusal to listen to Jocasta’s begging, who says, “I pray thee; do not this,” to stop asking the messenger about his birth (Sophocles, 2020, p. 47). Yet, this time, pride overcomes Oedipus and leads him to discover the truth, which causes him to blind himself.

Oedipus is a great king, but pride and arrogance eventually become the factors that lead to his fall. Oedipus’s pride makes him easily enraged, which causes him to unknowingly kill his father. The excessive pride also prevents him from facing the reality of being the actual murderer of King Laius, despite being told about it. The pride of Oedipus eventually fuels his stubbornness and leads him to discover the truth about his birth despite being asked not to do it by Jocasta.

Reference

Sophocles. (2020). Oedipus rex: A play. Open Road Media.

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StudyCorgi. "Pride of Oedipus in Oedipus Rex by Sophocles." December 15, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/pride-of-oedipus-in-oedipus-rex-by-sophocles/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Pride of Oedipus in Oedipus Rex by Sophocles." December 15, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/pride-of-oedipus-in-oedipus-rex-by-sophocles/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Pride of Oedipus in Oedipus Rex by Sophocles'. 15 December.

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