Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

An downfall, a theme which is present in “King

An individual’s decisions could lead them to their ultimate downfall, a theme which is present in “King Oedipus” (KO) , a play written by the great playwright Sophocles. The play proves itself to be a tragedy by containing elements that which are present in a tragedy such as tragic hero and tragic irony; the theme is credible through these elements. Oedipus unknowingly uncovers the devastating truth behind his origin and prophesied future by making bad decisions and through a series of tragic and ironical events. Although if the events that take place were to vary in the way that Oedipus were to change some of his actions and perspective, his dignity and well-being may have been preserved. “King Oedipus” (KO) proves itself to be a tragedy through its tragic hero Oedipus whose tragic flaw is that of hubris and blindness. A tragedy contains a tragic hero who possess a tragic flaw or hamartia. The tragic flaw is the main reason for the character’s downfall. Oedipus’s hubris leads him on a path where he uncovers a disastrous truth behind his roots and prophesied future. His pride is evident, when he immediately states that Creon , his brother in law, “proves plotter against his life, their of the crown” (KO 40). He shows his inability to consider the possibility that he could have made a mistake and therefore proceeds to blame Creon due to his pride. The encounter with Creon where he exhibits his pride leads him on a path to his devastating downfall therefore proving the theme credible. To add on, another tragic flaw Oedipus possesses is blindness. His ineptness to see all the events as a whole and him repressing the obvious clues leads him to make the catastrophic decisions which will conclusively lead him to his declension. Oedipus’s tragic flaw is evident when he announces to the people that “I mean to fight for King Laius now, as I would fight for my own father” (KO 33). Oedipus does not realize the decisions he is making or realize the true identity of the man he is willing to fight for when states this. This demonstrates how even after being told about the prophecy by a divine oracle and being shown so many signs, Oedipus still chooses to stay blind to the possibilities that maybe Oedipus has not prevented the prophecy from taking place. It incites him to make more decisions that  cause Oedipus to go out searching for the murderer of King Laius, which leads him to finding the killer to be himself along with other obvious secrets there hence proving the corresponding theme to be veridical. All of this shows how Oedipus’s tragic flaws cause him to make decisions which backfire.”King Oedipus”(KO)  proves itself to be a tragedy through its tragic irony. The tragic irony is when an characters decisions are almost contradictory to the actual situation at hand. Oedipus ironical actions reinstates the theme through him disregarding the words of the prophet Tiresias. Tiresias warns him by suggesting that Oedipus go home and  investigate anymore into these matters. However Oedipus rejects the suggestion of the prophet Tiresias, who sees everything through divine powers by stating “For the love of god, do not turn away, not if you know something” (KO 36). He then proceeds to trust his own intelligence and makes the decision to continue his search of the truth due to his ego. The whole encounter with Tiresias is ironical because even though Tiresias warns Oedipus based on spiritual and divine powers granted to him  by the gods Oedipus keeps looking because he trusts his own intellect. There is tragic irony in the conversation during Oedipus’s encounter with Creon that springs Oedipus to start looking for the killer. When Creon returns from his journey to the Oracle, he tells Oedipus that “There is an unclean thing … which must be driven away, not kept to destroy us” (KO 28).  After hearing this Oedipus feels as if it’s his duty to find the murderer of King Laius. This is ironical because the audience knows that Oedipus himself is the killer and him trying to find the killer is going to lead him to his downfall. In conclusion, “King Oedipus” (KO) is a tragedy due to its protagonist ,Oedipus,  whose faulty decision making is the cause of his ultimate downfall. Oedipus’s actions which are heavily influenced by his hamartia which is that of pride and blindness. It’s crucial that we learn to make decisions not based on personal matter but on logical and reasonable corroboration.

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