Oedipus

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  • HAMARTIA
  • Banishment? Great heavens, no! I want you dead (34)
  • HUBRIS
  • PERIPETEIA
  • Oh! Do not be surprised if this plot of yours to brand me as a scapegoat turns around and brands you and him. (23)
  • Oedipus' hamartia is his quick temper which causes him to become angry at the slightest provocation. Because of this, he wishes to kill his friend as a punishment for a conspiracy Oedipus came up with but never proved.
  • ANAGNORISIS
  • Myself entwined with those I never could. And I the killer of those I never would. (67)
  • Oedipus believes he alone can save the city from its plagues. He is confident that he will be the city's hero because of his hubris which makes him refuse to consider help or that he may be the root of the problem.
  • CATASTROPHE
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  • When Tiresias refuses to tell Oedipus who killed Laius, he responds angrily causing Tiresias to admit that Oedipus is responsible. This information increases Oedipus' rage, and he begins to turn on his friend with no reason; the information will eventually ruin his relationships and life.
  • CATHARSIS
  • Oedipus finally realizes that his prophecy has come true because of his short temper that caused him to kill Laius at the crossroads and provoke Tiresias. Had Oedipus left Tiresias alone, he would not have begun to suspect himself or investigate into his past. 
  • Solving the mystery of his parentage, Oedipus creates his downfall because afterwards he is so disgusted and disgraced that he loses his family and status. His wife dies and he decides to exile himself to Mount Cithaeron, leaving Creon in charge of Thebes.
  • The catharsis comes when Oedipus decides to leave his home for good because of his actions. Everyone in the scene pities him, but understands that he can no longer lead as their king. The audience feels this pity and sadness for all that Oedipus has lost to his rage.
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