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Oedipus The King

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Oedipus The King

In Greek mythology the oracles or gods are rarely wrong in their predictions of the future. Yet the characters still try to fight the predictions. Do their personalities and traits decide their future, or does fate take its course no matter what? Oedipus was a shrewd man furnished with wit and intellect, yet his lack of insight (the ability to see and understand clearly the inner nature of himself) and his arrogance led to his demise, not fate. Oedipus's aret‚ (an exceptional ability or gift) was unravelling riddles, and solving any puzzles with ease. He had a surplus of the aptitude to look outward, but unfortunately he had a deficiency of the ability to look inward. This talent of looking outward made him renowned for deciphering riddles and mysteries. Yet when Tiresias appears and speaks in riddles, Oedipus cannot solve them because of his lack of insight. Tiresias's riddles are clear in what they state, but Oedipus cannot understand them because he doesn't know himself well enough. Tiresias conveys, All ignorant! And I refuse to link my utterance with a downfall such as yours.(Pg.42) At this point in the play, Oedipus still cannot perceive who the murderer of King Laius is, even though the riddle is obvious. Oliver 2 Oedipus has the ability to comprehend the riddles, but he won't allow himself to accept the truth. When Oedipus saved Thebes from The Sphinx, he answered this difficult puzzle. The Sphinx demanded, What creature is it that walks on four feet in the morning, on two at noon, and on three in the evening? With his eminent mastery of riddles and having an open mind, Oedipus replied, It is Man. As a child he crawls on four. When he grows up he walks upright on his two feet, and in old age he leans on a staff.1 This puzzle is far more complex than Tiresias's rudimentary riddles, so Oedipus has the ability to solve the riddles but cannot let himself do so, because of his pomposity. Oedipus is so arrogant that he can't believe that he could possibly have done anything wrong. He suffered from the sin of hubris. That is, he was very vain, and conceited. No matter how straightforward Tiresias's riddles were, Oedipus's



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