Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King

Neglect Leads to Ultimate Destruction

In Franz Kafka's classic, The Metamorphosis, family members of Gregor Samsa, the main character who is a giant insect, ignore Gregor for a majority of the plot. Disregard for Gregor eventually obliterates him. In Oedipus the King by Sophocles, Oedipus neglects the wise words of many oracles and even his mother, something leading to his demise. In both of these masterpieces, the authors use irony to show that hubris, excessive humility, and egotism epitomize the causes of neglect and thus ultimately lead to a tragic fiasco. The continued disregard toward an individual leads to the bane of both parties.

Both Kafka and Sophocles cleverly allow the reader to suffer throughout the plot with sardonic scenes. Oedipus typifies hubris, or excessive pride toward oneself. Oedipus, a Corinthian, rules the city of Thebes and defends it like his prized fortress. As a young child, Oedipus kills a "stranger" at the crossroads, but that stranger later turns out to be his biological father King Laius. After Oedipus grows up, he becomes the King of Thebes and marries the widow queen Jocasta although he does not realize that she gave birth to him. During his rule, a plague strikes the city of Thebes, and an oracle tells Oedipus that...

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