Oedipus The King Research Paper

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“Oedipus the King” is an ancient tale which demonstrates a timeless lesson about human nature. It explores the inner characteristics of the man Oedipus and the multitude of conflicts that ultimately lead to his downfall. The play explores both the tumultuous and troubled relationships that Oedipus has with both himself and the natural world around him. Explored in this play are the conflict of human vs. self such as when Oedipus struggles with his own inner pride, the conflict of human vs human such as when Oedipus argues with Tiresias, and finally the conflict of human vs supernatural in which Oedipus fights to free himself from the fate of the Gods. Oedipus unknowingly fights both himself, his fellow man, and the gods in his quest for knowledge …show more content…

The major conflict throughout the majority of the story is that which Oedipus has with himself. Particularly that which he has with his own personality. Oedipus’s conflict with his own pride is often the driving force throughout the story. His belief in his own greatness and abilities often gets him into trouble. Oedipus has a lot to be prideful of, he thinks he is the son of a king, he was the only one to solve the riddle of the sphinx, and he is skilled in combat as noted by his interaction with his true father. At the beginning of the story Oedipus shows himself to be a good leader. Before the people come to him speaking of their woes, he claims to have already worried and thought hard about their current predicament. He demonstrates that he is a wise and capable king, yet in his eyes he has no equal. As described by Oedipus to Tiresias in their dialogue “The simple Oedipus; I stopped her mouth by natural wit, untaught of auguries. This is the man whom you would undermine” (Sophocles: 408-410) He shows a lack of willingness to listen to the ideas of others and trust the advice of those close to him. At one particular time in the story a well-known and credible seer urges Oedipus to abandon his quest for his own sake. Rather than accept this particular advice from someone who has proven to be very wise in the past, …show more content…

They often serve as characters that act as an almost narrative role and provide information and background necessary for understanding of the play. They also serve as a direct connection between man and the gods who serve as “fate” in many Greek Stories. The prophets in the story provide Oedipus with a large amount of information about his fate and the reason for the plot. However, classic to Oedipus’s prideful nature he simply doesn’t dig deep enough into this information and instead follows down the same path towards his own destruction. According to Nassaar “At the crucial point, he failed to properly understand Apollo’s prophecy and to react rationally to it” (Nassaar 2). Part of the cause of Oedipus failing to properly heed to advice of the gods and the prophet and the seers is his own pride. His interaction with the see Tiresias is a prime example of this. In the story Tiresias knows all. He has all of the answers to Oedipus’s questions and can end the plagues effecting the city at any time. This human vs human conflict between Oedipus and the seer serve as a major conflict throughout the story and serves as almost a tipping point in the plot. Tiresias serves as an almost antagonist to Oedipus. He directly gets in the way of Oedipus in his quest for truth. While the seer’s intentions are noble he is still allowing a city full of people to suffer from the plague as a result

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