Being a leader means leading a group of people. People can lead a community or country very well or very bad. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus leads his country with success and prosperity. Before the time period when the play began, Oedipus already ruled Thebes for 15 years. King Oedipus sends his brother-in-law Creon to find the cause of the plague that struck the city. Creon says that the plague will disappear if the person who killed King Laius, is brought to justice. Queen Jocasta doesn’t believe Tiresias when he says Oedipus is the man who killed King Laius. The oracle told her that her husband would be killed by their child. Years before that, to prevent her child from killing her husband, Jocasta leaves baby Oedipus to die on the side of the road. Oedipus thinks that he was that abandoned baby. When he first came to Thebes, he met and killed a man on the road who turned out to be Laius, his father. Then he met and married Jocasta, who is mother. In the next few paragraphs I will explain how Oedipus is a great leader in comparison to ancient greek standards and how he lead his country with success and prosperity.
Oedipus lead his country with success because most of the citizens liked him and looked up to him. Oedipus was not really a great person but as a leader he did a good job. Oedipus is mostly a good leader because of his ego. A lot of people know him and he is known very well throughout his community. Oedipus believes he can fix everything in thebes. He is very caring for his community which is also what makes him a good leader. He is very straightforward and strikes fear into his people. For example, when oedipus was determined to find out who killed King Laius he threatened the entire community with death. I feel that a good leader should strike fear into his people so that they are more afraid of breaking the law and Oedipus does a good job doing so.
Oedipus lead his community with prosperity because he is a man of his word. He always would try to solve riddles and answer unanswered questions the best he could. He is a great nobel man. He even stepped down from the throne as he was supposed to when he found out he killed King Laius. It takes a great leader to throw away your position as a King. A lot of other people would not do that. For example the text states, “Out of his country cast me with all speed/ where I may pass without accost of men” (Sophocles 50). This proves that he stepped down from his position as a king for the greater good of the community and he is a good man for doing so.
Lastly, Oedipus is a great leader in comparison to Alexander the great because like Alexander he cares about his community and wants the best for it. He only speaks the truth. In order to solve the problems of Thebes he says, “hard-hearted must I be/ did I not pity such petitioners” (Sophocles 1). This means he would be a bad leader and not a good person if he were to not solve the Thebans’ problems. He uses the truth so he can make everything that is going on better. Once he finds out that the person who killed King Laius needs to be brought to justice for the plauge to go away, he trys to find the truth with everything he’s got.
He searches to find out who King Laius’ murderer is. He continues to find the truth even though multiple people don’t want him to know. Even when his wife tells him to stop looking for the answers, he tells her to be quite. For example he says, “Nay, it cannot be/ That having such a clue I should refuse/ To solve the mystery of my parentage!” (Sophocles 38). Which means no matter what anyone tells him, he will continue to try to solve the problems of his community. He knows his people are going through hard times, and he knows that a good leader should solve these problems, and tries to be the best leader he can be. Until he finds out the truth, there isn’t any point in the story where he does not look for the truth. In the end, he’s a great leader, caring about and doing the best he can for the people of his kingdom.
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