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A Proud and Noble King Oedipus with Pride Conflicts

Updated on July 10, 2015

In the play Oedipus the King, Sophocles projects an image immediately about the noble King Oedipus. In the beginning, King Oedipus was listening and speaking to simple townsfolk and their sorrows, thus giving an impression of a caring and loving ruler. Also, the king has proven to be loyal to his people by exiling or eliminating the defilement that has brought plagues and disease into the city. Stating his name proudly he states to his children (townsfolk):


I would not have you speak through messengers,

And therefore, I have come myself to hear you-

I, Oedipus, who bear the famous name. (Sophocles 6-9)

The king shows his love through actions that prove Oedipus is nothing more than a mortal soul trying to take care of his people. As with every good individual there beholds a flaw that ironically sabotages their uprising. Unfortunately, for King Oedipus his falter was his pride. While trying to discover who killed the last king, Laius, (Oedipus’ father), he refuses to hear the truth that he himself was the murderer all along. Several individuals who are well-respected in the town’s eye revealed that it was him in fact who murdered King Laius.

Oedipus curses an elderly and blind prophet for speaking the truth of his fate. “Am I to bear this from him? – Damnation/Take you! Out of this place! Out of my sight!” (Sophocles 215-216). While this is an overreaction to overwhelming evidence, Oedipus does not back down from his “pride infused” feelings. This was his ultimate downfall in the ending when he realizes the issue all at once and blinds himself from his wife/mother’s brooch.


Sophocles. Oedipus the King”. Trans. Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry and Drama Ed. X.J Kennedy and Dana Gioia. Boston: Wadsworth/Cengage. 2013. 1207-1244. Print

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