Free Oedipus the King Essays: The Worst Enemy of Oedipus


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The Worst Enemy in Oedipus the King


In the Greek tragety Oedipus the King Tiresias speaks the truth when he tells Oedipus, "you are your own worst enemy." He is too determined to find out who he is, that shouldn't be so important to himself. He also, is too proud to listen to the gods. He thinks he can get out of following through on his fate. So, it is he that dooms himself.

First of all, Oedipus is determined to discover who he is. He can not accept things as they are and by stubbornly investigating his past, he is his own worst enemy by destroying his relationships and himself. When he was a young man he heard gossip that his father was not his real birth father. He was bothered to learn the truth from the oracle. He truly believed that his adopted parents were his real parents so he moved to Thebes so he wouldn't fulfill the oracle. When he finally realized that he killed a man that was old enough to be his father, he considered the fact that it could have been his father that he killed. That means that he married his mother. Oedipus drives his mother to kill herself. "Storm, then, let it burst! Born from nothing though I be proved, let me find that nothing out...My fealty to that family makes me move true to myself. My family I shall prove" (Oedipus page 60).

Oedipus was a very proud man. I believe that his pride was his biggest character flaw and because of his pride, the conclusion of the play was tragic. He feels that he has to take responsibility for his actions even though he had no control over them. He doesn't want to live anymore because he married his mother and killed his father and so the oracle had come true. "Lost! Ah lost! At last it's blazing clear. Light of my days, go dark. I want to gaze no more. My birth all sprung revealed from those it never should, myself entwined with those I never could. And I the killer of those I never would." (Oedipus page 67).

Oedipus did not listen to the Gods. His circumstances determined his fate, but could have been broken if he had not killed anyone, researched his parents before leaving Corinth, or not been so anxious to punish himself or find the murderer.

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Oedipus acted as if he were a god because he tried to get around the oracle and not listen to Apollo. He was very quick to judge others, including himself. "But I, Oedipus who stumbled here without a hint, could snuff her out by human wit, not taking cues from the birds." (Oedipus page 23).

Oedipus thought of himself as one of the gods or greater than the gods. He was too proud to accept what he did and just go on with his life and understand that what he did wasn't his fault. He was determined to find out what his status was when he would have been better off if he did not care. Oedipus is mistaken to claim at the end of the play that the gods are against him when really his own character dooms him. Oedipus is his own worst enemy.


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