From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Oedipus the King

Oedipus the King


by Sophocles

Oedipus the King Theme of Determination

If at first you don't succeed—try, try again. Or, in Oedipus' case: If at first you don't succeed—try, try again, try even when people are telling you not to try, and then stab your eyes out.

Determination is one of Oedipus's and his mother's primary character traits. Despite the important role of fate in the lives of the characters, Oedipus and Jocasta are all driven, at times stubbornly, to pursue their goals. Determination in Oedipus the King is linked to hubris and proves less an asset than a flaw to the characters who possess it.

Questions About Determination

  1. To what extent is determination an asset to characters in the Oedipus the King?
  2. Is determination a hindrance in the play?
  3. What, if any, correlation exists between determination and self-deception the play?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Determination to seek, to know, and to pursue principle is depicted as tantamount to self-injury Oedipus the King.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...