Creon: Wait Oedipus. Think on this. Think in private.
Oedipus: I have thought.
Creon: Think again.
Let me council you.
Creon is all like, “Talk less, smile more, don’t let them know what you’re against or what you’re for,” and Oedipus is all like, “Burr, I’d rather be divisive than indecisive.” (These are Hamilton quotes, by the way.)
But anyway, this quarrel starts up between these two several times in the play. Oedipus wants to go public with all the details of his reign, and Creon doesn’t think he should disclose so much in front of the common people. It makes me wonder if Oedipus’ fatal flaw is really pride, or if it is something else.
As any proper Percy Jackson fan knows, a hero’s “fatal flaw” is his/her one ingrained weakness that leads to his/her downfall. For a lot of heroes (Oedipus, Achilles, Daedalus, etc.), their fatal flaw can be vaguely described as “pride,” since most heroes are proud, even egocentric people who complete impossible tasks worthy of pride. However, I am doubtful that Oedipus’ hubris is what leads to his downfall. It is definitely a negative characteristic of his, but after reading the play, it seems his true weakness is that he is too quick to act with anything.
Take this particular conversation with Creon. The first thing Oedipus wants to do is talk about the oracle, not caring that there are plenty of townsfolk around. And later, Oedipus jumps to accusations about Teiresias, Creon, and finally, himself. He impulsively makes decrees, sends for messengers, and ignores his own logic for the instant gratification of knowing something (or thinking he knows something). In short, if Oedipus had a Facebook account, he would love his newsfeed and his posts more than life itself.
Sure, Oedipus has hubris, like Creon says: he thinks his way is the best way, every time, but this is not the central problem of the play. The main issue with our friend Oedipus is that he acts on his impulses without thinking his actions through, and because of this, causes big scenes that generate a lot of attention. Of course, this is related to his pride, but because pride is such a big “umbrella” term, it isn’t specific enough to categorize Oedipus’ fatal flaw alone.
And this is sort of unrelated, but here is a comic that goes with to my post about Fosso’s essay whether Oedipus is guilty of his crimes or not. One of the questions raised is whether or not readers can trust the Delphic Oracles. And so, here is a cartoon that I found among my vast trove of fan art that I think helps add to Fosso’s point: you can’t trust everything a Delphic Seer says.
I would’ve included this with the post it actually relates to, but that other post was supposed to be “scholarly,” and there’s nothing very scholarly about Percy Jackson fan art. So there you go.
Source: Oediups Rex (1 of 2)