Homework Help

What is an example of Hamartia in Oedipus the King?I have one example, Oedipus believes...

user profile pic

meshak | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted November 10, 2010 at 1:54 PM via web

dislike 1 like

What is an example of Hamartia in Oedipus the King?

I have one example, Oedipus believes he can escape the oracle given to him at Delphi in which he will kill his father and marry his mother, but I am having difficulting with another example. Lines from the play would be very helpful. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

epollock | Valedictorian

Posted November 10, 2010 at 3:02 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Depending on the edition and the translation that you use, hamartia, or tragic flaw as defined by Aristotle, can also possibly be defined as "sin", or "emission", or something else that underlies the character's mistakes in behaving the way they should.

His tragic flaws of which there are many can be his impatience at Creon for not returning soon enough:

I wonder anxiously what he is doing,

Too long more than is right, he's been away (Prologue 74-5)

Then when Creon comes back, Oedipus refuses to listening to him in private and he could have solved the entire situation by listen to Creon privately when Creon says:

Creon: If you will hear me with these men present

I'm ready to report--or go inside.

Oedipus: Speak out to all!The grief that burdens me

concerns these men more than it does my life. (Prologue 88-92)

And the rest is his tragedy. even accusing Tiresias and Creon of being in a conspiracy when Tiresias can't bear to tell Oedipus the truth.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes