The greek playwright, Sophocles, was born around 496 B.C., and died in 406 B.C. During his life, he wrote many plays, one of which was Oedipus. Sophocles was the first dramatist to add the third actor to the play. Actors were able to perfrom many different parts, but the play was limited to only three actors and the chorus. (Literature, page 1065)
The downfall of Oedipus transpired due to the tragic flaw of his character. Oedipus was very temperamental and became easily angered. He was a prideful individual who desired to be a hero and avenge the death of Laius. His devout need to know the truth, and have the proof that it indeed was the truth also led to his ruin.
Oedipus had a very short temper. Oedipus did not want to hear what Tiresias had to say after he begged him to tell him all that he knew. “Am I to listen to such things from him! May you be damned! Get out of here at once! Turn around and go!” (Literature, Oedipus the King, Ln. 434-436, page 1085) Oedipus went into a rage when Tiresias told him about the evils that Oedipus was living with.
Oedipus took great pride in saving people and being seen a hero. He wanted the death of Laius to be avenged and he had to be the one to find the murderer and punish him. “I’ll fight for him, I’ll leave no means untried, to cach the one who did it with his hand…” (Literature, Oedipus the King, Ln. 270-271, page 1081) He did not want to let the people of Thebes down, and he wanted to show that he would be a true hero once again.
Oedipus was in pursuit of the truth to find out what really happened with his birth and life. Oedipus was searching for the truth and needed to know all the facts in order to convict the murderer. “Ah! All of it was destined to be true!” (Literature, Oedipus the King, Ln. 1187, page 1104) When he did finally learn the actual truth it struck him hard and he realized everything was now falling apart.
Oedipus had character flaws that led to his downfall. His temper, his arrogant pride, and his complusive need to know the truth drove him to destruction. His search for justice ended up with him finding out the truth that was very inconceivable to him. It pushed him over the edge, and there was no way for him to escape from his mistakes.
Tressa Nolan page 1