In the play Oedipus The king, no character suffers more so than Oedipus. But did he deserve to suffer? No. Oedipus was a great king; his people loved and trusted him. Although Oedipus slept and fathered children with his mother, he was completely unaware of their relationship. In fact there is a lot that Oedipus did not know; finally Oedipus was willing to accept any punishment for his crimes. These are all examples of a good, naive person, not fit for suffering.
First, Oedipus is an effective leader. He is quick reacting to problems his kingdom faces. Oedipus is also trusted by his people. When the sacred prophet Tiresias reveals that Oedipus is responsible for a curse that has been afflicting Thebes, the chorus debates and decides that they need more proof before they can agree with the accusation. This is pretty major, being as in these ancient times everyone trusted the word of prophets over anyone else. This trust is proof that Oedipus is a good leader and not only a good leader but one that is not worthy of suffering.
Next, Oedipus is oblivious to the fact that he is committing unethical and immoral acts. Oedipus has lived a lie his entire life. His actual father ordered that he be removed from his kingdom to avoid the consequences of an ancient riddle. Because of this Oedipus never knew where he really came from. So he cannot be blamed for practicing incest. Oedipus is naïve to the truth of his life. So in a way he has been subconsciously suffering from day one. It is for these unfortunate circumstances that Oedipus does not deserve anymore suffering.
Finally, at the end of the play, when Oedipus is fully aware of what is going on, he immediately exiles himself from the kingdom. This act of self-punishment freed the people of Thebes from the curse of the Sphinx. Oedipus is a loved and trusted leader though, it is hard to believe that the adorning people would have really wanted their king to leave, but Oedipus takes it upon himself. He does...