- Published: November 15, 2022
- Updated: November 15, 2022
- Language: English
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Mohannad Zawi October 31st, 2011. You Should Probably Learn To Not Let Your Emotions Get The Best Of You There goes an old saying, “ All anyone asks for is a chance to work with pride. ” Well, it seems that some people work with almost too much pride. In order to consider the extent to which pride applies to Sophocles’ Oedipus The King and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, consider the following: Oedipus and Willy both take extreme pride in their professions, their pride blinds them from seeing the truth of their situations, and their pride ultimately leads to their own demise/downfall, all of these invoking pity.
There are many ways that pride can be attributed to pity just from the situations of these characters. From these extreme examples, we can come to understand how much of a role our emotions factor into our lives, and we too can learn how to better control them. Oedipus and Willy both take extreme pride in their professions, which makes us feel pity. “ But sick though you may be, there is not one of you as sick as I. Your pain torments each one of you, alone, by himself – by my spirit within me mourns for the city, and myself, and all of you. We understand that Oedipus is the king of Thebes, but as a local priest is begging for Oedipus to fix the wrongs in the city, Oedipus takes it upon himself to show how much more dire his situation is compared to the rest of the priests and the city itself. “ They don’t need me in New York. I’m the New England man. I’m vital in New England. ” When his wife Linda keeps pestering him, Willy decides that he cant talk to his boss about a job in New York, which would be more closer to his current house now.
His pride believes him to be absolutely vital in justifying his painfully long-distance job to New England, a job that brings him a source of problems. “ What do you say? You know something? And will not speak? You intend to betray us, do you, and wreck the state? ” As Tiresias refuses to tell Oedipus information that mainly involves Oedipus, Oedipus’ pride makes him refer to the dangers of denying him information almost that of hurting all of Thebes, as if any action done to Oedipus is just as worthy of treason and betrayal. “ And they know me, boys, they know me up and down New England.
The finest people. And when I bring you fellas up, there will be open sesame for all of us, ‘ cause one thing, boys: I have friends. I can park my car in any street in New England, and the cops protect it like their own. ” Even though we know Willy has some friends, and isn’t very successful, his pride leads him to believe that everybody loves him. We understand now that Oedipus and Willy’s professions leave them in positions and situations that allow us to feel pity for them, they are both arrogant with their statuses and their jobs, as they feel too much pride for themselves.
This pride leaves Willy to work himself to the bone in a situation that is very difficult for him, such as traveling to New England often. Oedipus’ pride gives him a self-inflated ego, making us feel pity as he achieves a blind sense of arrogance with his pride. Their pride blinds them from seeing the truth of their situations, invoking pity. “ To learn my lineage, be it ne’er so low. It may be she with all a woman’s pride thinks scorn of my base parentage. But I who rank myself as fortune’s favorite child, the giver of good gifts, shall not be shamed. Jocasta, Oedipus’ mother and wife, keeps urging Oedipus not to dig any further into the truth of his life and the prophecies, for what they reveal could ruin his life. However, Oedipus clearly ignores her plead and continues to dig himself deeper into a hole that would turn his life upside-down. “ They laugh at me, heh? Go to Filene’s, go to the Hub, go to Slattery’s. Boston. Call out the name Willy Loman and see what happens! Big shot! ” Willy’s pride shows us how blind he is to the truth. He keeps trying to advertise how popular he thinks he is, but we understand that this isn’t true. Oedipus: From whom of these our townsmen, and what house? Herdsman: Forbear for God’s sake, master, ask no more. Oedipus: If I must question thee again, thou’rt lost. ” Oedipus’s pride & insistence makes him blind to the fact that people are telling him not to dig any deeper, as we know he’ll soon not like what he finds out. “ Howard: This is no time for false pride Willy. You go to your sons and tell them that you’re tired. You’ve got two great boys, haven’t you? Willy: Oh, no question, no question, but in the mean time… ” Howard understands that Willy is using his pride to shield himself from the dangers of reality.
If Willy hasn’t used his false pride all the time, he’d be able to live and get by. Willy and Oedipus are both blind to the truth and the realization of their situations, for if they weren’t so blind, their predicaments could be completely different. However, their blindness leads us to feel pity for them as we are able to see their faults and where they have done wrong. Their pride ultimately leads to their own downfall, which attributes to pity. “ To wit I should defile my mother’s bed and raise up seed too loathsome to behold, and slay the father from whose loins I sprang. Oedipus, with the help of his pride, keeps digging himself deeper into a hole of self-regret. This is the true cause of his downfall. “ I got a job, I told you that. [After a slight pause] What the hell are you offering me a job for? ” When Willy is offered a job by Willy, Willy feels as if his pride was attacked. This was a job that Willy could have had to help with his money problems and overall improve his life, however this instead leads him (in part) to his downfall. “ When the Messenger says: “ You will not see, “ he said, “ the horrors I have suffered and done.
Be dark forever now—eyes that saw those you should never have seen, and failed to recognize those you longed to see. ”, we can see (no pun intended) that Oedipus has done the unthinkable: Stab his eyes repeatedly. He does this to spite his pride for not being able to recognize the obvious truths, such as those around him. “ Willy: Imagine? When the mail comes he’ll be ahead of Bernard again! ” Willy’s pride for himself and his son keep leading him to believe that other people’s success is a measure of his own success.
The idea of Willy to kill himself so his sons can cash out on his life insurance stems from his pride for success, effectively leading him to his own demise. Because the titular characters choose to continue on their path of self-destruction, fueled by their own pride, they lead themselves to their own end. This fills us with pity because we feel as if if we had our knowledge of the situation, then we would have chosen differently, and such ends wouldn’t have been able to come to fruition. So now we’ve finally understood that there are many ways in which pride can be attributed to pity just from the situations of these characters.
The extreme pride that both characters have in their professions leave us to believe how far they’re willing to go to not seem weak. Their extreme pride also happens to leave them blind to the reality of their situations, leaving them to cause mistakes that gravely affected them. Because they have such extreme pride in themselves, we can only believe that their demise was inflicted to themselves, by themselves. What must be learned about ourselves, to prevent such catastrophes, is that its okay to accept help and listen to others. Many problems in life can be avoided if one were to take a step back and think with a leveled head.
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