1 Answer | Add Yours
As a character, Oedipus possess many qualities that animate his spirit of greatness yet feed his self destruction. Some of his bad choices could consist of waging the battle between he and Laius over something as trivial as passage rights on a country road. Certainly, given that he had already known of the prophecy that foretold his faith, he could have exercised more caution in this instance. Perhaps, it is hubris, or pride that motivated him here. An instance where we see Oedipus' hubris is when he proclaims that he, himself, will end the pestilence that plagues Thebes. In not foreseeing that making such a proclamation could result in fated disaster, one sees his hubris in full view. Both of these instances can demonstrate that his bad choices were made out of pride, foolish pride, despite his knowing of his curse of a fate. Yet, it can be equally argued that the seat of Oedipus' very greatness is this pride. It is Oedipus and his senses of pride and dignity that recoil in horror after learning his fate and decide to leave Corinth. It is also this high level of dignified skill that allows him to answer the riddle of the Sphinx, gaining access to being the ruler of Thebes. Even in the action of boldly proclaiming that he alone will defeat the plague of Thebes, one can see that there is a great and heroic quality to it. Myopic as it might be, stellar leadership and greatness is demonstrated in such a proclamation. The penultimate example of this heroism is when he learns at the end that he has fulfilled the fate foretold by the Oracle. In deference to saving the kingdom and acknowledging his own foolishness, he blinds himself, proving his worthiness as king and hero.
I strongly encourage you to read the work again with these ideas in mind and I think you can find even more examples of the foolishness and greatness of Oedipus.
We’ve answered 319,809 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question