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Give examples of hamartia or tragic flaw in Oedipus Rex. I understand the definition,...
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One of the best ways to answer this question is to know what basic social principle Oedipus went against. At the oracle of Delphi there were few important maxims that the Greeks valued. One of the statement was: "Know thyself." This meant to keep boundaries. In short, know that you are not divine.
If you look at the tragedy through that lens, one of the things we can say is that Oedipus did not know himself. He had not clue that he could have killed his father and married his mother, even though he did kill someone in his life. Self-knowledge did not exist. As the literary work progresses, more and more people begin to realize that Oedipus is the one who is guilty, but even with all this evidence Oedipus is ignorant. I would say that this is one of the great tragic flaws.
Posted by readerofbooks on October 24, 2011 at 2:11 AM (Answer #2)
High School Teacher
Oedipus and his parent's hubris is their tragic flaw -- they all thought that they could avoid the prophesy of the oracle at Delphi. They put themselves above the gods in their desire to control their destinies, and that is the highest order of hubris. Oedipus's parents think they can avoid having their son kill his father by sending him away; later in life Oedipus thinks he can run away from his "father" to avoid killing him. In the end, the prophesy is completely fulfilled because there is no avoiding a prophesy of the gods.
Posted by lmetcalf on November 20, 2011 at 2:01 AM (Answer #3)
Middle School Teacher
Posted by litteacher8 on February 22, 2012 at 11:07 AM (Answer #4)
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