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However, the process by which it does this is not always made clear. In the character of Oedipus, for example, pride drives him, but stubbornness proves to be his downfall as he steadfastly refuses to listen to council regarding this pursuit. Following in his footsteps, his daughter, Antigone, expresses her own stubborn inability to listen to council which leads to her death as well. In this essay I will argue how both Oedipus from Oedipus the King by Sophocles and the character’s daughter Antigone from Antigone by Jean Anouilh are each protagonists who cannot control their own stubborn natures, eventually bringing forth their own downfalls.
Early in the Oedipus the King, Oedipus unknowingly sets himself up for failure by pledging that he will avenge the old king as if he were his sire. “And I pray / whoever the man is who did this crime, / one unknown person acting on his own / or with companions, the worst of agonies / will wear out his wretched life. I pray, too, / that, if he should become a honoured guest / in my own home and with my knowledge, I may suffer all those things I’ve just called down / upon the killers” (Sophocles, 284-292). Although his motivation seems to be a bit divided between doing what’s right for the city and acting in the interest of self-preservation, he is utterly sincere in his conviction that the killer should suffer the worst possible fate if he refuses to acknowledge his guilt immediately. His commitment to this conviction is shown in his dealings with Tiresias. He tells Creon that he’s already sent for the prophet twice with no response and when the prophet does appear, he does nothing at first but beg to be allowed to return back home. Oedipus’ increasing insistence that Tiresias speak of what he knows are met with dire hints that the news is not good for Oedipus in
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I. Excessive Pride in Speech A. Oedipus before his people B. What he reveals about his own self-image II. Excessive Pride in Actions A. Oedipus' actions coming into Thebes B. Creon's warnings to Oedipus III. Downfall A. Pride forces the truth out B. Pride forces great punishment Oedipus the King In his analysis of what makes a true tragedy, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle identified three major elements.
Sophocles and Euripides through the characterization of Oedipus and Medea present the readers with an interesting dilemma regarding importance of fate and destiny in an individual’s life and downfall. 2. Oedipus’s Downfall Oedipus Rex is a Greek tragedy about the life story of an orphan king, a warrior and a highly intelligent man who had a keen insight of life, human behaviors and nature and its phenomena.
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He enjoys a happy family life and has all the fortune a man can dream of. But, he was never peaceful throughout his life. Oedipus lived a life of agony. He doubted Creon and Teiresias blindly, without second thought. Sophocles uses Sight as a metaphor for wisdom and the power to see beyond one's ego in this legend.
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