English 111 Character in Drama: Oedipus

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Kimi Mattos
Barbara Parsons
English 111
12 October 2012
Character in Drama: Oedipus
In Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, justice and vengeance are the gods‘. Oedipus tries to avoid a prophesy told to him by Teiresias, however because of his pride, Oedipus falls right into his god-fated tragedy. Oedipus, attempting to prove that he is above such things by “avoiding” the prophesy that he will kill his father and marry his mother. He does this by running away from his parents’ kingdom, then Oedipus responds to this the gods’ vengeance with anger, then with ignorance, denial, and belittling comments, ever-believing he can outsmart the gods. Through his struggle he realizes that the gods’ justice is the only justice, and that fate, freewill and justice are all up to them. Oedipus runs away from his parents’ kingdom. He runs with the Denial and belief he can outsmart the gods and their justice (or injustice), but they’ve already doomed him. For whatever reason they have cursed him and his family to their fate and as he runs “away” from his childhood home he is actually running towards his downfall. After running away, Oedipus tells his wife and mother Jocasta that he will, “never go near his parents again” (DiYanni 984). This statement is particularly ironic since it is his mother herself who he tells this to. It is within reason to run though. Oedipus does not see it fair to be blamed for an ancestral wrong. You can see this in his question, “What has God done to me?“ (DiYanni 992). He does not find the god’s justice just, and so he decides that he will never return despite that, “it would have been good to see [his] parents again” (DiYanni 948). In his second attempt to understand justice, Oedipus gets angry. He gets angry at Teiresias, who tries to keep the truth hidden by saying such things as, “Let me go home. Bear your own fate and I’ll Bear Mine. It is better so: trust what I say.” and “No; I will never tell you what I know, Now it is my misery; then...
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