In most cases, the fatal flaw is excessive pride and the characters refusal to admit it is what drives the action of the play. By using Oedipus as his example, Aristotle is emphasizing that a man in high station is more in danger of having this fatal flaw than most. As I will demonstrate, Oedipus in the play Oedipus the King by Socrates is a character plagued by excessive pride, expressed in both his words and actions, and which brings about his own downfall.
Oedipuss excessive pride is seen from the very beginning action in the play. As the play opens, there is a great crowd of people who have come to see King Oedipus to beg him to help with the plagues that have affected the city. Oedipus regards the people around him and views himself as a god. Rather than praising them for attempting to find other, perhaps more practical solutions to their problems, he chides them for not turning to him to begin with, as if he is the obvious answer. “What means this reek of incense everywhere, / From others, and am hither come, myself, / I Oedipus, your world-renowned king” (4-8). His choice of words shows that he is very proud of himself because he describes himself as the "world-renowned king," but this emphasis on his reputation also reveals that he is a bit insecure in his position. His people already know who he is, they have already come to him for help, there is no need for him to make these kinds of statements other than to make himself feel more important and to separate himself from them.
Oedipus also demonstrates excessive pride in his actions as he continues to try to force things to go his way. Upon hearing about his own prophecy, Oedipus doesnt hang around to find out more details. Instead, he takes off for the next kingdom, never thinking twice about the men he kills on the road and taking great pride in his ability to answer the riddle of the Sphinx. This ...Show more