Oedipus Rex Questions and Answers
by Sophocles

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In Oedipus Rex, how does Oedipus's tragic flaw lead to his downfall?

In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus's tragic flaw is his hubris, which leads to his downfall by influencing him to deny the will of the gods and attempt to alter his destiny by fleeing Corinth. Oedipus's hubris also prevents him from acknowledging Teiresias's truthful message and recognizing that he is Laius's murderer. After accepting the truth and realizing that the prophecy was fulfilled, Oedipus blinds himself and goes into exile.

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The tragic downfall of Oedipus in Sophocles's Oedipus Rex is Oedipus's belief, based on his overwhelming pride (what the ancient Greeks called hubris),that by exercising his own free will, he can thwart the will of the gods and choose his own destiny.

Everything that the gods preordained would happen to Oedipus happened long before the play begins.The gods determined that Oedipus would kill his own father. He did. The gods further determined that Oedipus would marry his own mother. He did.

Oedipus unknowingly killed his own father, Laius, on his way to Thebes from Delphi, where Oedipus learned from the oracle that he was destined to kill his father and marry his mother. As fate would have it, Laius was on his way to Delphi to inquire about omens foreshadowing his death.

After he killed Laius, Oedipus continued to Thebes, where he solved the riddle of the Sphinx, for which he was awarded the throne of Thebes and marriage to Queen Jocasta, who Oedipus didn't know was his own mother.

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