A Man Blind To The Truth: Oedipus in Oedipus the King.
Oedipus is a dynamic character who evolves over the course of the play from concerned and kind-hearted to paranoid and vengeful to an enlightened man who finally accepts the truth which had been staring him in the face the whole time. The play starts in medias res with the noble King Oedipus comforting victims of a plague that has fallen on Thebes. Finding a cure for the plague rapidly escalates into a conflict that will be an "eye opening" revelation for Oedipus. In Oedipus the King by Sophocles, Oedipus is a man destined to fail because he is blind to the truth.
Oedipus displays several of his traits in the play. As the play opens, Oedipus is a caring king who is deeply concerned about the citizens of Thebes. The citizens are gathered around the palace steps to ask him to help them. King Oedipus relates to their pain and says, "tell me, and never doubt that I will help you in every way I can; I should be heartless were I not moved to find you suppliant here"(Sophocles 961). Oedipus suffers more for others, than he does for himself. He is a hero to the people of Thebes; they consider him to be a "mortal god" who liberated them from the Sphinx (962). Oedipus is not only superior because of his social status, but also because he is smart ("Classic Note"). He was the only one who could outwit the Sphinx. Oedipus is arrogant; he refuses to belief the words of fate, which have been told to him many times.
Oedipus's past helped in forming his character. He was abandoned by Laius and Jocasta after they were told that their unborn son would kill him and marry her. The three-day-old Oedipus was given to a shepherd, who was ordered to leave him in the mountains to die. Having compassion for the boy, he gave him to the first messenger. The messenger gave him to the childless Polybos and Merope as a gift. Oedipus knew nothing about his true identity as he was raised as the prince of Corinth.