How does Oedipus see himself as the leader at the beginning of Oedipus Rex?

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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act I, Oedipus finds that his city has been plagued by famine, fires, and other destructive acts.  (One has to wonder why he is so removed from the events that he must be told that these things are happening.)  Still, Oedipus seems to be a leader willing to take action and seek resolution to the plights of Thebes. He is sympathetic to his people and not so consumed by power that he will not seek help.  He has sent Creon to Delphi to receive the Oracle of Apollo for guidance.

However, when the oracle is given to him, Oedipus fatal flaw is revealed:  his hubris.  He refuses to believe the truth that Tiresias imparts:  that it is he who has killed his father and married his mother. 

Read the study guide:
The Oedipus Trilogy

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