Oedipus is intelligent and perceptive, though he does seem to take a great deal of pride in his intelligence, and this can blind him to his shortcomings. When he speaks to the blind prophet, Teiresias, he reminds the seer that, when the sphinx tormented Thebes, it was he, Oedipus, who managed to answer her riddle and not the prophet. While true—he did answer her riddle and free Thebes from her tyranny—he thinks that this makes him more knowledgeable and more insightful than this prophet, whose gift has been granted by the gods. Oedipus says,
[...] the riddle was not to be solved
By guess-work but required the prophet's art;
Wherein thou wast found lacking; neither birds
Nor sign from heaven helped thee, but I came,
The simple Oedipus; I stopped her mouth
By mother wit, untaught of auguries.
He claims that, even without the help of the gods or omens, Oedipus was able to use his own, inherent cleverness to figure out the sphinx's riddle when Teiresias could not do so. This gives Oedipus that...
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