Oedipus the King

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  • HAMARTIA
  • "By all the gods, do not deny us what you know" (19).
  • HUBRIS
  • "What a knack you have for spouting riddles" (25)
  • PERIPETEIA
  • Oedipus' fatal flaw is his curiosity. He continuously asks Tiresias dangerous questions despite the warnings of others. 
  • ANAGNORISIS
  • "At last! It's blazing clear!" (67).
  • Oedipus does not believe Tiresias when he tells him the truth. Oedipus' pride blinds him from the truth and he refuses to believe anyone.
  • CATASTROPHE
  • Oedipus asks so many questions that he finally realizes he was the murderer of Laius. This leads to many tragic events and Oedipus' life turns for the worst. Before this, he was living lavishly as king.
  • CATHARSIS
  • Oedipus realizes the truth about his life. He realizes he killed Laius, his father, and he married his mother, Jocasta. 
  • When Jocasta finds out that the prophecy about Oedipus killing Laius and marrying her came true, she kills herself.  When Oedipus finds out about Jocasta's death, he uses her brooches to blind himself by stabbing himself in the eyes. 
  • The audience knows the truth about Oedipus from the start. When they watch Jocasta kill herself and Oedipus blind himself, they feel pity for the characters. 
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