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September 25, 2005

A Good King with a Fatal Flaw

CREON If thou wouldst hear my message publicly,
I'll tell thee straight, or with thee pass within.

OEDIPUS Speak before all; the burden that I bear
Is more for these my subjects than myself.

I think this passage really shows that Oedipus is a good king and that he cares about his people. He really wants to help end the hard times Thebes is going through. He really is a good person. But...

TEIRESIAS Is it so? Then I charge thee to abide
By thine own proclamation; from this day
Speak not to these or me. Thou art the man,
Thou the accursed polluter of this land.
...
OEDIPUS Is this a plot of Creon, or thine own?

Oedipus obviously thinks very highly of himself. After being told that he, himself, is the murderer that he seeks, he is quick to question the ability of Teiresias to see the truth and argues with him...and then he blames his most trusted friend, Creon, for trying to plot to steel the crown from him. He just thinks so well of himself that he is blind to the idea that he might be guilty of killing Laius after all. It isnít as if he never killed anyone that he failed to know the identity of, therefore it should be plausible that he might have done it. But he just canít think of himself that way, he is too proud. And this pride will lead to his downfall.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at September 25, 2005 3:41 PM

Comments

I think Oedipus is right to question Teiresias. He knows he didn't murder King Laius. Anyone in Oedipus's situation would have questioned him.

Sure, he's a little paranoid about Creon - but Oedipus is a political figure, people probably try to screw him over all the time.

Posted by: Kayla Sawyer at September 25, 2005 5:04 PM

Lorin, i totally agree with you on the fact that Oedipus is blind to the fact that he could have killed Laois. I blogged about that fact as well. His "ego" of how good of a king he is will bring him down and certainly diminsh when his town finds out he killed Laois.

Posted by: Denamarie at September 25, 2005 5:15 PM

Yeah, pride can kill a person...and it is very noble of him to take punishment. But if you think about it , it seems that he might have taken it a little overboard. Yes, his father was killed by his own hand...due to self-defense. And he married his mother without even knowing it. But gouging his eyes out (I would have just left). Maybe the eye gouging was symbolic. His guilt that seeing by himself murdering his father and messing around with his mother, Oedipus must've thought that he doesn't deserve to see any more.

Posted by: Kevin Hinton at September 25, 2005 5:17 PM

I think you're right, Lorin. Oedipus does seem to have a bit of an ego.

Posted by: Amanda at September 25, 2005 5:54 PM

Tragic flaws....

yet, he's a tragic hero.

How ironic.

Good analysis, Miss Lorin.

Posted by: Katie Aikins at September 25, 2005 6:43 PM

Kayla,
Maybe today we would question someone who is suppose to be "all knowing" but in the time the play takes place, I think Oedipus was being too sure of himself to accuse a prophet and his most trusted friend of conspiring against him. Especially when the prophet has proven to be correct in the past.
Kevin,
Yeah I think that the eye-gouging might have been symbolic too...that is a good observation.

Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at September 25, 2005 8:05 PM

Just so you know Professor Jerz, I included this in my Xenoblogging section because David referenced my blog when he posted his for this play. Therefore, I considered this something "that helps other people's weblogs." Here's a link to David's blog.

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/DavidDenninger/2005/09/ode_to_oedipus.html

Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at October 3, 2005 2:16 AM

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