Oedipus Essay, Research Paper
Where Lies the Blame?
In Sophoclese’ play “Oedipus The King”, the fate of Oedipus, the main character, was foretold at his birth that he would kill his own father and marry his mother. As a young adult, he went to see an oracle after hearing rumors. The oracle told him of his foul fate and he ran away trying to escape the chances of this awful future unaware he running towards what he thought he would escape. Oedipus was partially responsible for his downfall because let curiosity lead him to the oracle where he found out his horrifying fate, he killed his own father when he should have avoided killing anyone, and if he wanted to avoid marrying his mother, he should have never married anyone older than he.
After the birth of Oedipus, his parents Lias and Jocasta, King and Queen of Thebes sentenced him to death because the oracle told them that he would kill his father and marry his mother. They were unaware of the fact that did not die, but was adopted by the king and queen of Corinth. Oedipus was never informed that he was abandoned at a young age, found by a shepherd and adopted. One day while attending a dinner, a drunken man accused him of being a bastard.
“And I went at last to Pytho, though my parents did not know. But Phoebus sent me home again unhonoured in what I came to learn, but he foretold other and desperate horrors befall me, that I was fated to lie with my mother, and show to daylight an accursed breed which men would not endure, and I was doomed to be the murderer of the father that begot me.”(1735, 860-868)
In utter fear of his newfound knowledge, he fled from Corinth to make sure to none of what the oracle said would come true. On his travel, he took little precaution in the field ensure falsifying the oracle’s prediction.
Demanding to know all details about King Lias’ death he was described the site where three crossroads met. Upon being told this information, Oedipus recalled the time when had just fled Corinth and came to a spot similar to the one described. Being so distraught with fear and so overwhelmed with emotions, his thinking and reasoning was clearly impaired. “…I was encountered by a herald and a carriage with a man in it…He led the way and the old man himself wanted to thrust me out of the way by force.”(1735, 878-882) The old man then struck Oedipus on the head with a two-point goad. His impaired thinking angered him so much, he attacked and killed everyone in the band of travelers, except for one survivor who managed to get away. If Oedipus was dead set on not letting this prediction come true, he would have avoided any sort of conflict with any man. It was a very stupid, impulsive move on his part because he let his confidence override the fact that the gods had planned his life.
What Oedipus was unaware of, was the fact that one of the predictions had already come true. He had killed a total stranger not thinking twice about the prediction. Now having only one prediction to contend with, he still did not take any precaution into avoiding the prediction. After coming to Thebes and answering the Sphinx’s riddles, he was granted kingship. Since King Lias had just been murdered and Queen Jocasta was widowed, Oedipus married her unaware of his terrible mistake. Not thinking twice about the prediction after he ran away from Corinth, he led a happy life and had four children with his mother. Again, Oedipus did nothing to protect himself against the awful prediction believing he had already falsified the gods prediction.
When the townspeople came to Oedipus for help to get rid of the unknown plague sweeping through the city, he sought the help of his wife and many others to help find the murderer of King Lias. All the information that was gathered, he pieced together and finally made the realization he had been living in a false reality that he had dodged the prediction entirely. From the beginning he was dead-set on dodging his fate, yet his ignorance got in the way of reasoning. He did not think twice that he was dealing with the gods. He should have just lived with the fact that the prediction would come true and make the best of it. He could have turned the bad into good somehow, but decided he could escape anything and trick the gods. Obviously Oedipus was not fully responsible for the outcome and not lacking blame, but was partially to blame because of his faulty decision making.