"Oedipus" as The Architect of his Downfall by Sophocles.

Essay by lc2k4High School, 12th gradeB+, January 2004

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-What compelled Oedipus to act the way he does?

-What events led to cause Oedipus to act as his architect of his own tragic fall?

- more quotes might result in better mark.

Oedipus as the Architect of his Downfall

What is the purpose of an architect? An architect is one that plans or devises. The contriver, designer, or the creator of what is to be. In Sophocles' Oedipus the King, Oedipus in a sense is the architect of his downfall. The extent in which he is the "designer" or "maker" of his downfall is caused not by his actions, but the origin of those actions. What caused those free-willed measures were his own attitude, reasoning and characteristics, driving the choices he makes. Specifically, Oedipus' enormous ego, his attitude towards fate, and his conception of heroic greatness guided his decisions, spiraling Oedipus towards his tragic fall.

It is certainly clear of Oedipus' conceited disposition throughout the play.

The central purpose of his life is to declare that sense of himself. To always be the hero and saviour of all dilemma's present in Thebes. This act for heroism blinds Oedipus to the extent where he only sees himself conquering whatever problem arises, not the actual problem. As the plague strickens Thebes, "world-famous Oedipus"(2) will "bring it all to light... and shall be the defender of Thebes, and Apollo's champion..."(10) emphasizing himself as a hero. Also, with this powerful ego comes a certain narrowness of vision, which has no room for alternative opinions or nonconforming views, and often a very powerfully self-assured voice. As Oedipus states, "I came, know-nothing Oedipus, I stopped the Sphinx. I answered the riddle with my own intelligence..."(27) the pronoun I is dominating his declaration. So prominent is this feature of his character, one cannot separate out...