Oedipus Essay

Essay by volakis April 2006

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The Downfall of King Oedipus

King Oedipus caused the downfall of his family mostly because of his stubbornness. "I must. I cannot leave the truth unknown." (55). In this quote, Oedipus is ignoring Jocasta's wishes of leaving the mystery of his birth undiscovered. If Oedipus would have listened to Jocasta, his family wouldn't have had to suffer the separation. Secondly, on page 38 Oedipus says, "I have saved this land from ruin. I am content". By looking at this quote, one can see how Oedipus is absorbed in his own beliefs. He isn't allowing himself to open up to the opinions of others. Also, on page 43, there is a conversation between Oedipus and Creon that proves the stubbornness of Oedipus to be overpowering. "Oedipus: 'Still clinging to your obstinate arguments?' Creon: 'Because I know you are wrong.' Oedipus: 'I know I am right.'" He is unwilling to accept that another may be correct, and he may be wrong.

Things have to be the way Oedipus tells them. "Creon: 'And what if you are mistaken?' Oedipus: 'Kings must rule.'" (Page 43). This shows Oedipus's refusal to reconsider his opinion and beliefs. This denial adds to the initial shock of the downfall of Oedipus's family. All in all, it can be seen that Oedipus's obstinacy is a main character flaw which results in the destruction of his family.