King Oedipus, a classic Greek play, was written almost 2500 years ago by a playwright named Sophocles. Oedipus the reigning king of Thebes realizes that he has committed a sin so wrong; even the gods turn away, for he has killed his father and married his mother. When Oedipus finds this out, the secret not only destroys him, but the entire city as well. However, what really causes his downfall is the many flaws in his personality. Oedipus" explosive temper leads to his downfall, and gets him there in a hurry making him a classic tragic hero. His continuing to ask questions when warned is another fatal problem. Nonetheless, Oedipus' biggest flaw is his arrogance, which ultimately leads to his doom. These are all characteristics that the great Aristotle said a tragic Greek hero should embrace. Although Oedipus means to do little harm, his temper, persistent questioning when warned, and arrogance eventually lead to his tragic outcome.
Oedipus" horrible temper not only makes others dislike him, it even boils to the point where he would hurt or even kill others. One of the first problems with Oedipus" temper happens fifteen years before he becomes king. Oedipus is on a highway into Thebes when he meets five men in a chariot. Since Oedipus wants to cross the intersection first, he kills all of the men except for one. Oedipus" temper is further evident when he confronts a prophet named Tiresias. Tiresias is asked by Oedipus to come to Thebes and tell him who was the murderer of the last king, Laius. Since Tiresias knows the real truth, that Oedipus actually killed Laius, he doesn't want to tell Oedipus in fear of his life. Tiresias tells Oedipus that he isn't going to speak of the past, and that it is for Oedipus" own good. Oedipus" temper explodes, much the same as it does when he dealt with his uncle/brother-in-law Creon. In this instance, Oedipus feels that Creon sent Tiresias, so a false prophecy would be told and Creon would become king.