The self-confident, intelligent, and strong willed leader named Oedipus gained ruler of Thebes by answering this Riddle of Sphinx; what has four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three at night? Oedipus replies, Man (who crawls on all fours as a baby, walks upright later, and needs a walking stick in old age). Since Oedipus was the only person who answered the riddle correctly, he gained respect to his fellow people. By gaining respect, he became an honorable leader. Through leadership, he redeemed his village; admitted and accepted his mistakes and failures. Through these characters, he reflects a good man. In Sophocles' play, "Oedipus the King, Oedipus' village admired him, for he liberated his people from previous misfortunes. "You came and by your coming saved our city, freed us from the tribute which we paid of old to the Sphinx, cruel singer," (Sophocles, 39-41) says the priest. While others may claim the incest and wickedness Oedipus encounters may overshadow his good will, there are countless demonstrations throughout the play that focuses on Oedipus good character. Oedipus has shown his leadership, reliability, and devotion to his children, which saves his people and himself from shame. His heroic figure and drive to help protect his people prolongs in this as we see in his lines "Hence, you do not wake me from sleep, but know that I have been weeping much and wandering many roads of the mind. And that which my inquiry found our only cure I have done, for I have sent Creon . to Apollo's home in Pytho, so that he learn what I should do or say to save this city." (Sophocles, 70-77) .
Oedipus portrays a great leader to his people in Thebes. Sophocles, the author, illustrates to his audience how Oedipus showed leadership throughout the play by saving his village, ruling justly and searching for the truth. In the beginning of Oedipus the King, Oedipus ruled Thebes for 15 years and led his village with success and prosperity.