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Oedipus: Tragic Flaws

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Matthew Lundgren

on 23 October 2012

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Transcript of Oedipus: Tragic Flaws

Tragic Flaws Pity Curiosity Arrogance: Paranoia Oedipus's vanity was prominent towards the beginning of the play, with which he selfishly proclaimed himself as a higher entity compared to the other characters. he was overly prideful in his triumph over the Sphinx, and his pride eventually consumed him. In reference to modern and post Greek literature, vain characters are so caught up in their own vanity, that they become blind to their faults in their decisions and it eventually becomes their downfall. In this play, a tragic flaw that affected the outcome of the story was pity. When Oedipus was abandoned as baby to die on the mountain, the old sherpherd took pity on him and rescued him from certain death. If this had never happened, Oedipus would have never lived to fulfill the prophecy of killing his father (Laius) and sleeping with his mother (Jocasta). Thebes would have lived on with Laius as king and no tragedies. Curiosity is a major flaw in this play. Multiple times throughout the play Oedipus has pushed people such as the prophet or Jocasta to tell him what he wants to know about his past, what he is curious about. If he never asked all these questions and didn't push people, he would have never known that he was possibly the killer of Laius, or that there was a prophecy . This would of avoided the realization of Oedipus's atrocities, thus avoiding the tragedy for the most part. In this play, arrogance is a major flaw, that affects the outcome of the story. When Oedipus is speaking to the prophet, the prophet tells Oedipus that it was him who killed Laius. Now, Oedipus was too arrogant to believe he could have done such a crime, he denounces the prophet and sends him away, but now he investigates the murder. If he had believed the prophet, Oedipus most likely would have left Thebes and never have realized the prophet, thus trading the larger tragedy (Oedipus realizing the prophecy) for a smaller tragedy (Oedipus leaving Thebes) In this play, paranoia is relatively a minor flaw, but still a flaw that affects the story. Oedipus is paranoid that Creon is trying to overthrow him by using the prophet, so Oedipus confronts him. Now of course Creon wasn't planning to betray Oedipus in any way. This accusation drove Creon away, making Oedipus lose a valuable ally. Once Oedipus realized the prophecy and that he had fulfilled it, the one thing he needed was allies. If he had never accused Creon, then Creon would have been there to help throughout the whole play and most importantly, at the end. He could have prevented him from gouging his eyes out, or other things. Vanity Oedipus By: Matt Lundgren, Niles Koenigsberg, Erin Winkler, Jenna Wadleigh http://www.polleverywhere.com/multiple_choice_polls/LTEyODcxNjcwNTY http://www.polleverywhere.com/multiple_choice_polls/LTExMDU2NzMwNzk http://www.polleverywhere.com/multiple_choice_polls/MTExMTYwODMyNA Get Your cellphones out! (1) Question 2 :)
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