The Greeks believed strongly in the concept of fate, and that the gods who ordered the universe were in control of every human’s destiny. But by the time of Sophocles, many were questioning the ancient wisdom. Sophocles seems to be arguing in this play that even though we are fated to our destiny before we are born, we achieve that destiny as the result of our own actions. He uses Oedipus as an example of how our own personalities lead us to the destiny decreed for us by the gods. Pride (hubris) is Oedipus’s fatal flaw. It’s the root of his anger and “blindness” (his unwillingness or inability to face the truth). Together these three character traits bring about Oedipus’s tragic destiny.
Write a one- to two-page paper (250 words minimum) identifying moments in the play where he says or does things that reveal each one of these three aspects of his personality. Explain as though you were a prosecutor telling a jury how this man could indeed have committed the crimes he’s charged with (though of course you’re actually explaining how his own actions bring about his downfall and make the prophecies come true).
Use examples from the text to back up your points, but keep these brief and concentrate on the explanations. To quote the text, just place the line number(s) in parentheses at the end of your quotation. Example: “Your quotation here” (771-2).