Oedipus Tragic Flaw

442 Words2 Pages
Oedipus, the tragic hero of Sophocles’ play Oedipus Rex, has a flaw that causes his downfall. Aristotle, in his Poetics, says that “Tragedy is essentially an imitation not of persons but of action and life, of happiness and misery” (135). This tragic flaw is what causes Oedipus’ fate to hurt him and is why he loses everything. Oedipus’ tragic flaw is his blindness, which is seen in the play when he argues with the blind seer Teiresias, when he ignores the messenger from Corinth, and when he does not connect the evidence from Iokaste. The first instance of Oedipus’ blindness is when he argues with Teiresias. Oedipus and Teiresias argue over the fact that Oedipus cannot see what is going on in his life. In scene one Teiresias says, “Listen to me. You mock my blindness, do you?” “But I say that you, with both eyes, are blind.” (195-96). This quote is showing that Oedipus is blind because of his inability to see the connection of his life and the prophecy. This isn’t the only…show more content…
Iokaste gives proof to Oedipus about the oracle that was reported to Laios. Oedipus continues to question Iokaste and still doesn’t make the connection. In scene two Iokaste says, “Before the king had pierced the baby’s ankles and left him to die on a lonely mountainside.” (194-95). This quote gives evidence that the child whose ankles were pierced was in fact Oedipus. Unfortunately, due to Oedipus’ blindness, he doesn’t realize that the child was him. Oedipus doesn’t acknowledge the evidence that is shown to him from Teiresias, the messenger from Corinth, and Iokaste. This evidence demonstrates Oedipus’ blindness, which is his tragic flaw. All of these instances are what causes Oedipus to have a tragic downfall. He doesn’t understand the argument Teiresias is trying to make. His stubbornness ignores what the messenger has to say. Still, Oedipus doesn’t see what Iokaste is trying to tell
Open Document