So in English class we were reading the Oedipus plays by Sophocles. If you hadn’t read it yet, here’s what happens (Spoiler alert!); This guy named Oedipus is king of the city of Thebes with his wife Jocasta and has two sons and two daughters. Creon, Jocasta’s brother, travels back to Thebes from Delphi, saying they must find the murderer of Laius, the former king. They weren’t able to investigate his murder years ago because the Sphinx was attacking the city, but Oedipus answered her riddle correctly, so she killed herself. Anyway, Teresiaus, the prophet, says that Oedipus is the killer of Laius, angering Oedipus who calls him a “mad old man.” In addition, long ago, Oedipus received from the oracle of Delphi that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Long story short; Oedipus finds out he married his mother and killed his father, Creon takes over, improsons Antigone, Oedipus’s daughter, for trying to bury her brother Polyneices because he tried to invade Thebes because his brother Eteocles kicked him out. Creon considers killing her, but Haimon, his son and Antigone’s intended husband, says he would die with her. Antigone later kills herself, and Haimon does too, and so does Creon’s wife because her eldest son died. Whew! A lot of other stuff happens, but I won’t get to that. What really stuck with me was the last five lines; Tis best in world of deed/To shun unholy pride;/Great words of boasting bring great punishments/And so to gray haired age/ Comes wisdom at last.
Lesson is, although defending one’s pride and honor seem to protect one’s image and reputation, it does not hurt to listen to others. The more pride you put in yourself, the greater the shame/suffering you will face. There is a saying that says something like “The higher you are the farther the fall.” We can boast and brag as long as we want, all to make us feel stronger and secure. When we admit that others are right or that we have made a mistake, however, that strength seems to lessen, which is why those who have great pride seem to avoid those experiences by all costs. But if you take the time to listen to others and critique yourself, there would be less likely be a chance of collapsing from the weight of shame. -Heather