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            All heroes reach their fate not through weakness, but through strength.
             In the play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, the main character Oedipus is seen to follow his prophesized fate, which ends in his downfall. Strangely, it cannot however be said that the course of this hero's demise can be blamed on his weakness. It is in some ways quite contrary. The story is one of a man who is struggling with destiny and every choice he makes effects the outcome of the story dramatically. Oedipus is undeniably strong willed and self-assured and it is these steadfast qualities that cause him to make the very decisions which will eventually leave him distraught, blind, and exiled from his kingdom.
             Oedipus is a man of tremendous pride and arrogance and these qualities cause him to ignore all advice, be it good or bad, from those around him as he is so assured HE is the one who is always right that he has enormous difficulty in accepting otherwise. Throughout the play he is referred to as "the first of men" and is praised by his people as the man who can bring them forth out of the plague that has befallen their city and save them from death and destruction. He, and his citizens have complete confidence in this one man who has saved them once before from the plague of the evil sphinx by solving her riddle of "what crawls on 4 legs in the morning, 2 in the afternoon, and 3 at night?" The answer, man causes Thebes to name him king and to bestow all their confidence in him. .
             Oedipus has great difficulty in believing the words of others who dispute any set ideas or beliefs he has in his mind. He was brought up believing his parents to be king Polybus and queen Merope of Corinth so it therefore takes indisputable evidence to convince him this is not the case. Although the words of the drunken Corinthian which first tells him of his adoption did cause him to question his parents, their denial does not satisfy him.

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