analyse wisdom of Oedipus vs Socrates that lead to his downfall
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Socrates championed a philosophy of wisdom as reflective both of self-knowledge and that we never truly know anything. We struggle to learn but the truly wise recognize how little they know. Though I'm a believer that the role of the hamartia ("tragic flaw") is generally overplayed in Sophocles' play, it could be argued that Oedipus' tragic flaw is one of two things: his anger or his intense self-worth. In terms of the former, the argument could be that by acting too rashly when his father pushed him off the road many years before, Oedipus fulfilled the prophecy by killing his father unnecessarily. It could also be said that his pronouncement to Tiresias that he would banish whoever was the cause of the plagues was itself driven by his anger at Tiresias' refusal to share his knowledge of the case. Either way, we could argue that more self-composure would have been wiser and thereby saved Oedipus his downfall. However, this does not work with Socrates as well as the second possible flaw: his self-worth. As a champion who saved Thebes from the Sphinx and who have thereafter ruled so wisely, he believes very much in his strength and wisdom. So much so that, when confronted with a plague whose cause is unknown, he believes he will crack the puzzle and is so assured that he makes the claim the he was banish the perpetrator. Socrates perhaps would have cautioned he use his wisdom to acknowledge his limitations, acknowledge how little he ACTUALLY knows about both himself and the universe, and in that more cautious approach might he have at least tempered his downfall, if not alluded it. Both these arguments, though, ignore that the gods decreed his downfall and chances are he will fall no matter how it comes.