In Greek mythology the Oracle at Delphi is a place where ordinary people went to be given their prophecies by prophets who received the messages from the gods. The Oracle is used as an insight to see what one will become or how to overcome a crisis. Inscribed in the walls at Delphi are the words “nothing in excess” meaning if you have too much of something it turns bad. In the play Oedipus the King, Sophocles illustrates a complex view that there is a fine line between success and downfall of having nothing in excess, which is in Oedipus’s stubbornness throughout the play.
Before the play starts we know that after Oedipus flees Corinth he comes to encounter a couple of men in a wagon and on horses. After several times of asking Oedipus to move out-of-the-way, he refuses and forces the men to go around him so Oedipus can continue his journey. When his next stop comes in front of a city, he is face to face with a sphinx. Oedipus was then asked to answer a riddle to gain entrance to the city, but if answered wrong Oedipus would be killed. Oedipus’s stubbornness is displayed as he chooses to answer the riddle and risk his life instead of just walking away. Oedipus answers the riddle correctly and gains entrance to the kingdom where he becomes King. Now as King Oedipus he is again faced with a challenge and is asked to find the murderer of Laius, King of Thebes and punish/banish the murderer, or else the city of Thebes will come to crumble under the plague. Oedipus accepts the challenge and begins his search calling upon the great prophet Theirsias, who proceeds to tell Oedipus he wishes not to say who the murderer of Louis is to protect Oedipus from the pain.
Theiresias “…I can never/Reveal my own sorrows, lest they become/Yours.”
Oedipus “You cannot? Then you know and/will not tell us!/Instead, you plan
treason and the city’s/death.” (346-349) Oedipus forces Theiresias to tell him the truth, but instead of getting an answer Oedipus wants to hear, he...
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