World Lit 9-7
April 23 2012
Oedipus the King
Blind and hopeless, Oedipus the King suffered a lifelong punishment from the gods, because of a terrible curse he had cast upon his family. The destiny of Oedipus is formed from a sequence of events and occurrences that happened throughout his lifetime. Sophocles, who wrote the story Oedipus the King, made it very clear to the audience that poetic justice was portrayed by Oedipus himself in the story. King Oedipus shows this in many ways throughout the story. Sophocles is able to establish poetic justice through Oedipus’ blindness, his use of dramatic irony, and determined ingenuity. King Oedipus shows poetic justice in the end of the story when he realizes that his prophecy had come true. After finding out that he had killed his father and married his mother, he becomes ashamed of himself and ends up leaving town. When a messenger comes up to Oedipus, he is told of this horrifying truth and at first keeps making up excuses and accusing other people for what he had done himself. He is told that because of what he had done, he would become blind and would be thrown out of his temple. Of course, Oedipus makes up more excuses of why this could not be true, but he is finally struck by realism when his wife, Jocasta, first sees that the prophecy had come true. Jocasta freaks out and later hangs herself because of the horrifying news. When Oedipus finds her hanging, he takes her broach and stabs his eyes out because it is unbearable to see. He is ashamed but he does not want to die because he knows that when he dies, he will have to face his father, Laius, and his mother, Jocasta, so instead, he chooses to become blind so that he does not have to see what he had done or face his mother and father. Just as the messenger said he would leave blind, but knowing, Oedipus follows the prophecy and is replaced in his throne and he is cast out of Thebes for eternity. The second way poetic justice is...
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