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The Image of an Ideal Person in The Tragedy of Sophocles King Oedipus Essay

The Image of an Ideal Person in The Tragedy of Sophocles King Oedipus, 494 words essay example

Essay Topic: tragedy, king, oedipus, image


Oedipus' royal heritage qualities clearly distinguish himself from others. This shows more in the beginning of the play before his ego and arrogance went over the top. One of these qualities is his intelligence. This shows when he killed the sphinx before the story began, and nobody has done that before him. His great leadership of the city is another quality that distinguishes himself from other people. The chorus agrees with this when they said "Never will I convict my king, never in my heart" (563). His great quality of getting out solving problems is what makes him a great king. The people know this when they said "Now again helmsman, steer us through the storm" (765). The fact that the chorus said "Now again" means that Oedipus has saved the city through dark times more than once, putting the peoples trust in him. Though later in the play, his lack of knowledge of situations he is not ready for will cause him to forget his great king-like abilities and soon lost his family and his city.
Despite his noble blood and character, Oedipus does make a series of mistakes throughout his life. Most of these situations were caused by his lack of known facts that he should have known before making a decision. Jocasta knew this and tried to save him from his certain doom. Soon she got tired of convincing his ego, she called him a "man of agony- that is the only name I have for you, no other- ever, ever, ever!" (1176 Fagles). One of his worst mistakes was how he wanted to know who he was born from. Although people were starving in his city, he was too worried about this mystery, which not a good quality to show in times of need, and it turned out that he got the answer he wanted. A grave mistake was when Oedipus accused Creon of trying to take his throne. Even when Creon tries to tell him the truth he refused to at least consider the facts.
These mistakes lead Oedipus to a horrible downfall which not only devastated him, but also his family and his country. Oedipus devastated himself once he said "I curse myself as well if by any chance he proves to be and intimate of our house" (284). Once he kept making these mistakes, the qualities the once made him a great king turned him a paranoid king. His ego and defensiveness left him to die by himself and harm the city. The city suffered before Oedipus made his mistakes too, they were on the brink of death by hunger and disease. The city lost hope in Oedipus when they found out the truth about him, and him showing everyone how bloody he was when he stabbed his out was not pleasing the people either. All these events made the city feel devastated not only because what happened to him, but what he did in his past and what he caused.

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