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An ultimately leads him to kill his

An overestimation of an individual’s competence and
capabilities, especially in a position of power, can cloud a person’s judgement
and lead to disastrous outcomes.  In the
play, “King Oedipus,” Oedipus chooses to ignore his prophecy and goes to great
lengths to change his fate. But eventually, he experiences a series of events
that ultimately lead to his undesired downfall through the exposure of his arrogance
and pride. Thus, Sophocles demonstrates Oedipus’s hamartia as hubris through
his behavior and interactions with Laius and Creon which portray how ego can
blind an individual’s perception and cause their undoing.

Initially, Sophocles displays Oedipus’s pride
through his conceited behavior towards King Laius and also from his actions in
the aftermath. For example, as Oedipus stumbles onto Laius’ carriage where
three roads meet, he becomes furious and “every man of them there he killed”
(KO 48). In this situation, Oedipus holds himself in a higher status than those
around him. Oedipus gives no concern to who he engages in and immediately
lashes out in indignation. This conceited mindset is what causes him to explode
in anger and pride when he encounters Laius where the three roads meet which vividly
shows his arrogant nature. His immense pride blinds his actions which
ultimately leads him to kill his father and accomplish his fate. His actions
show the audience that impulsively acting out in anger due to arrogance can
lead to an undesiring reversal of fortune and regret. In response to the
mystery of the murder of the previous king of Thebes, Oedipus shames the
members of the court and proclaims that Laius’ death “should surely have been
probed to the utmost” while saying that he “saved this land from ruin” (KO 32).
Once again, Oedipus sees himself as more knowledgeable and wiser than those in
the court and proceeds to humiliate them. He gives no regard to their position
and degrades them for their supposed lack of commitment to the murder of the
King while arrogantly emphasizing his achievement of accomplishing the Sphinx’s
riddle. Because of his continuous boasting of his wisdom, it leaves Oedipus
vulnerable to consequences such as shame and regret that will ultimately cause
his downfall. Sophocles teaches that arrogantly stating your achievements and
wisdom in order to achieve fame while degrading others leads to the possibility
of humiliation and ruining ones image if they do not meet their own
impractically set standards. Oedipus’s hamartia is effectively proven to be
hubris which is shown through his behavior and actions toward Laius’ character.

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In addition, Oedipus’s arrogance is effectively
shown through his malevolent and accusatory attitude toward Creon. For example,
Oedipus proclaims that there is “proved plotter against his life” and points
towards Creon, accusing him of being a “thief of his crown” (KO 40).
Oedipus’s excessive pride is apparent through his hasty and impulsive
accusation of Creon’s motives. Rather than concentrating on the matter at hand,
Oedipus grows obsessive with misconceptions of Creon’s intentions and
completely disregards the indisputable facts that are visible. Oedipus’s
obscure judgement from his quick accusations leads to the breaking of trust
between him and his brother-in-law. Losing his allegiance with Creon leaves
Oedipus to face his brother-in-law’s indignation that eventually leads to his
downfall. From this situation, Sophocles teaches that recklessly accusing
others due to paranoia from a possible threat to an individual’s position can lead
to the deterioration of relationships due to distrust. In addition, Oedipus
arrogantly states that because Creon lacks “backing of friends or purse,” it is
useless to “go in quest of his crown” (KO 40). Here, Oedipus implies that
without the possession of wealth or fame, Creon’s attempts to steal his power
are meaningless. Through this denunciated mindset, it shows how Oedipus
believes that the only one who can possess such high standards is himself and
for anyone else to take power is nonsensical. The continuous use of Oedipus’
allegations leaves him vulnerable to the harsh consequences such as disgrace if
his accusations are false. The audience learns that becoming overly prideful in
aspects such as fame and wealth can backfire and lead to humiliation and guilt
if an individual loses their source of power. Overall, Creon effectively
demonstrates an aspect that proves Oedipus’s hamartia as hubris.

In retrospect, Oedipus’s hubristic characteristics
often lead to disastrous and inevitable outcomes that are irreversible. His
interactions with characters such as Creon and Laius further prove how an
overestimation of an individual’s abilities often blinds their actions and
damages relationships. Therefore, controlling ones arrogance and pride is
necessary in order to avoid an unsettling and inescapable future. 


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