What Is Oedipus Fatal Flaw

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Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, is really a story about the necessity of placing more faith in others and their counsel than in oneself and one’s own beliefs. Repeatedly the titular character is pleaded with to listen to and accept the advice of those around him and each time he refuses to obey. Ultimately, Oedipus’ tendency to do perform the actions he would prefer to do rather than to allow his family to help guide him leads to his downfall and loss of the throne. A common characteristic of Greek tragedy is the “fatal flaw” of the main character and how this flaw leads to the character’s misfortune. Classical Studies professor, Peter T. Struck, argues that Oedipus’ “basic flaw is his lack of knowledge about his own identity. Moreover,…show more content…
When one considers that Oedipus’ actions involving his actual parents were unwitting it is easy to see that he is in fact innocent of a true crime and in classical scholar E. R. Dodds’ essay “On Misunderstanding the ‘Oedipus Rex’” he concludes that Oedipus is fundamentally innocent and states “I hope I have now disposed of the moralizing interpretation, which has been rightly abandoned by the great majority of contemporary scholars. To mention only recent works in English, the books of Whitman, Waldock, Letters, Ehrenberg, Knox, and Kirkwood, however much they differ on other points, all agree about the essential moral innocence of Oedipus.” and while details of these other scholars would take too long to explain in a simple essay it is agreeable that the thought of Oedipus’ misfortune being in punishment for unwittingly fulfilling his prophecy is false. However, the consideration that his misfortune is a result of his indifference is indeed a viable explanation and allows for the concept of Oedipus’ life being rectified if only he had listened to his

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