What new understanding does Oedipus show as a result of his acceptance of his guilt at the end of the story?

Oedipus has realized that he must give up his desire for total control over the situation. He has relinquished his need to have things go his way, and he is aware of the fact that it was precisely this need that caused his downfall.

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Throughout the play, Oedipus has been so sure—so confident and certain—that he knows the best course of action. He wisely sends Creon to consult the oracle even before the citizens of Thebes come to petition him for aid. He saved the city from the sphinx, as he alone could answer her riddle. Now, however, he has given up that confidence and tries to part with his need to control everything around him. He has realized that he simply cannot wield this kind of godlike control, as it got him into trouble.

When he discusses the fact that he didn't realize that he was fated to become such a wretch, he says, "So be it. I reck not how Fate deals with me." Creon anticipates Oedipus's desire to see his two daughters, and Oedipus is forced to recognize Creon's discernment and understanding. However, Oedipus still struggles to relinquish control, and Creon must tell him:

Crave not mastery in all,
For the mastery that raised thee was thy bane and wrought thy fall.

Oedipus must accept—as he tells Creon—"Lead me hence, then, I am willing." It is difficult for Oedipus to accept this change in his status.

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The brazen and brash nature of Oedipus that had marked his character throughout most of the drama is all but gone in its last moments.  One of the most powerful understandings that the reader or audience is left with is how Oedipus laments all of those who are connected with him.  The fact that Oedipus prays that sensitivity and compassion are shown towards his children, who he feels must pay the ultimate price for his own sins and transgressions.  The result of his tragic flaw is intense suffering, one that will be revisited for some time.  Yet, the fact that he begs everyone for sympathy for his children is reflective of both how much he has changed and how much Oedipus has suffered.  In the end, I think that this becomes a reflection of how Oedipus' understanding has changed.  It is this revelation that enables Oedipus to gain some level of transformation and change as a result of his tragic condition.  In this, Oedipus' pleading for his children represents how a new dimension to his characterization is evident at the end of the drama.

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