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In Oedipus The King, how does Oedipus show pride?

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jratkinson | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 24, 2010 at 10:32 AM via web

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In Oedipus The King, how does Oedipus show pride?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 24, 2010 at 7:57 PM (Answer #1)

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The overwhelming sense of pride is apparent through much of the play.  Oedipus' fundamental belief that he can overcome his fate through his exercise of free reflects this pride.  The faith in his freedom and disregard for its limitations is reflective of Oedipus' pride.  He believes that his fate will not apply to him, discarding the input of Tiresias and the idea that his journey to cure his people could come at drastic costs.  The fact that he kills what turns out to be his father over such a small slight on the road reflects this pride, as well.  Undeniably, Oedipus is responsible for some fairiy impressive feats.  He is seen as a powerful ruler and through solving the riddle of the Sphinx, Oedipus has reason to possess some pride.  Yet, in the final analysis, his sense of ego is what ends up dooming him, reconciling him to the fact that his fate cannot be overcome.

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epollock | Valedictorian

Posted January 24, 2010 at 11:14 AM (Answer #2)

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jratkinson,

In the very beginning of the play, since the people are supplicants—praying to Oedipus for help—we know that something is seriously wrong. And, since the prayers are addressed directly to Oedipus, he is identified as a significant power.

Oedipus calls the people “My Children,” suggesting his sense of paternalistic control. He refers to himself as “I, Oedipus, a name that all men know” a speech which shows his awareness of his power and reputation. His eminence is based on his having defeated the Sphinx and on his own success as ruler for twenty years.

Oedipus has also killed Laius, resulting in textual evidence that he himself is somewhat physically fit and healthy. He had much to be proud of, whether or not his downfall was fateful.

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cheli | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 15, 2010 at 11:57 PM (Answer #3)

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welli just finished reading this book for my english class.... and my group thinks that Oedipus showed his pride when he confessed that he was the one that killed his father and married his mother......also when he poked his eyes out he showed pride because he didn't want to look any of the people in thebes in the eyes because he was full of shame and guilt.

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