What are some of Oedipus' motivations throughout Oedipus Rex (aside from the fact that he wanted to know who killed Laius)?

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clstockdale80 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Oedipus deals with the vicissitudes of human fortune (ups and downs) throughout this play, and the play that follows in the Theban Cycle.  At the onset, Oedipus is motivated by hubris, excessive pride, having arrived at a town where he is claimed as a hero and its successor to King Laius. Oedipus immediately becomes defensive when confronted by Teiresias, the blind prophet (being blind is a bit of foreshadowing as well as a traditional "seer" motif), who accuses Oedipus of killing Laius and predicts he will marry his own mother. Here Oedipus is fueled by orge, or anger. Later in the play, when the accusations and predictions prove true, Oedipus blinds himself out of the shame that he has brought upon his house. He asks Creon to exile him from the land, which leads to the next play in the cycle.