What is Oedipus's tragic flaw and is there only one in Oedipus Rex?

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I would agree that hubris or pride is Oedipus's one tragic flaw.

The key to Oedipus's tragic downfall is not simply that he is proud and believes he is an exceptional person, although that is an element of his personality. The Greeks, as we do today, did not have...

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I would agree that hubris or pride is Oedipus's one tragic flaw.

The key to Oedipus's tragic downfall is not simply that he is proud and believes he is an exceptional person, although that is an element of his personality. The Greeks, as we do today, did not have a problem with people having a positive self image. Oedipus' tragic hubris is his belief he can beat the gods. This is a chief sin in the Greek worldview.

The gods have ordained that Oedipus is destined to kill his father and marry his mother. However, when Oedipus learns this is his fate, he tries to circumvent it by leaving the people he believes are his parents. He flees his home, taking the road from Corinth to Thebes to escape his fate, but ironically, it is his very attempt to "win" out over the gods by leaving Corinth that leads him straight into the arms of his destiny. On the road, he meets and kills a man who won't step aside to let him pass, unknowingly murdering his real father. Arriving in Thebes, he then marries Jocasta, his real mother, again without any idea of what he is doing.

Oedipus must come to an awareness that he is not as perfect as he thinks he is, but more importantly, he must become humble enough to acknowledge that the gods are in control of the universe. When he does this, blinding himself in the process, he gains true wisdom and insight.

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Oedipus's major flaw is his pride, or hubris. He believes he can defy his fate foretold by the gods: that he will kill his father and sleep with his mother. Oedipus (as well as his own biological parents) try to evade this course of events. However, Oedipus does not have a full view of the situation—not realizing the people he grew up with are not his true parents—and thus ends up killing his father and marrying his mother without knowing it. His presumption of full understanding becomes his downfall.

As another answer mentions, Oedipus's hubris tends to make him engage in other negative behaviors. He loses his temper easily, killing Laius (his true father) in a blind rage and shouting down Tiresias when he is only telling Oedipus the unvarnished truth. His pride also makes him arrogant. Though several characters try to warn Oedipus away from his tragic course, he does not listen to anyone's consul but his own, time and time again.

It might be said that these are all different elements of Oedipus's main flaw (rather than separate tragic flaws): it is his pride, which acts as a kind of spiritual blindness, that causes his downfall.

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In Sophocles's Oedipus Rex, Oedipus's hubris is the source of his tragic downfall, but it's not the only reason for it. The reasons for his downfall are the decisions he makes which flow from his hubris.

For example, Oedipus has an anger problem. Oedipus's killing of his father, Laius, might have been excused by the circumstances—Oedipus was met at a crossroads on the road to Delphi by Laius (whom Oedipus didn't know) and Laius' attendants and guards, and they tried to run Oedipus off the road. Oedipus struck the charioteer who tried to run him down, Laius hit Oedipus on the head, and Oedipus got a little angry about that and then killed Laius and everybody else at the crossroads. This might have been a bit of an overreaction, but it is somewhat understandable. Less understandable is Oedipus' angry, over-the-top, "kill the messenger" response to Creon and Tiresias for simply telling him things he didn't want to hear. That's Oedipus's pride talking.

Ordinarily, determination is considered an admirable trait, but Oedipus's determination to find out who killed Laius in order to end the plague against the people of Thebes is based on his own pride. He simply won't let it go until he solves the mystery, no matter what.

When Oedipus solves the mystery, he tries to cover it up and deny it, which only makes the problem worse—as should be expected, especially in a Greek tragic drama.

Hamartia is often defined as the hero's tragic flaw. Hamartia actually means an error in judgment, or a mistake, intentional or otherwise, that ultimately leads to the tragic hero's downfall.

If Oedipus was simply a generally prideful, boastful guy and didn't make any decisions that significantly endangered himself or anybody else, the play would be over before it began. But Oedipus does make really bad decisions based on his hubris (and his other character traits that arise from his hubris), and those decisions are what cause his tragic downfall.

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Most experts and critics agree that Oedipus' tragic flaw is his hubris, or excessive pride, which leads to his metaphorical blindness throughout the play, and of course, ultimately his demise.  Consider all of the ways in which pride lead to his downfall.  First, in response to Teiresias' first message (while living in Corinth) that he should one day kill his father and marry his mother, Oedipus pridefully sets out to prove the prophet wrong.  This leads him to a crossroads where, in a bout of pride and anger, he kills the old man (his real father).  Once he becomes the king of Thebes, he refuses to listen to those who attempt to help him, including Teiresias (again) and Creon.  When the hidden secret becomes fully apparent to Oedipus, namely, that he is the plague poisoning the kingdom, his final act of pride is to physically blind himself so that he will no longer have to look on himself in shame.

You could certainly do a more detailed examination of Oedipus' decisions throughout the play and likely come up with more than one tragic flaw, but likely each one could be rooted in excessive pride.

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