Oedipus’ failure of knowledge engages him a whirlwind of events. When Oedipus’s identity is in question, Oedipus heads to the Delphic oracle in hopes of finding an answer to his fate. The oracle offers no answer, but provides him with a prophecy, telling him that he will murder his father and sleep with his mother. Understandably so, this is a prophecy in which Oedipus goes to extreme means to avoid. His desire to protect those whom he calls his mother and father proves futile. These people share no blood relation to Oedipus and are out of harm’s way. As the tragic hero makes his way to Thebes, Oedipus comes across a three-way crossroads. A crossroads is a place where a choice has to be made. Consequently, crossroads signify moments where decisions will have imperative meanings but where other choices are still possible. In Oedipus Tyrannus, the crossroads is part of the distant past, dimly remembered, and Oedipus was not aware at the time that he was making a fateful decision. The crossroads symbolizes fate and the power of prophecy rather than freedom and free will. It is here that Laius and Oedipus meet and come to blows at the crossroads,... [continues]
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