Themes of Oedipus the King
"A theme is a main idea or subject explored in a literary work." One theme in Oedipus the King is the limits of freewill. This theme goes well with this book because when Oedipus tells Jocasta about the prophecy he heard of as a young boy, Jocasta tells him of a similar prophecy. Oedipus was told he would have to kill his father and sleep with his mother. Jocasta tells him that Lauis' son will grow up to kill his father. As these prophecies are told they debate which is a trusting prophecy to follow. Even though he flees Corinth to have no prophecies come true, his fate catches up with him. He had no choice whether he ran away from Corinth or not.
A second theme is the act of ignoring the truth. When Jocasta and Oedipus get close to finding out the truth about the murder of Lauis, Oedipus hopes to relieve himself of the blame. Even though Jocasta was told Lauis was killed by strangers, Oedipus knows that he acted alone in the killing of a man on similar grounds. This ends up leading to the truth finding process. They both act as if the servant's story is just an undeniable history. Oedipus and Jocasta do not want to know the truth so they act as if the truth doesn't exist.
Motif of Oedipus the King
Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, and literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text's major themes. A motif in Oedipus the King" would be Oedipus's swollen foot. Oedipus gets his name from the fact that he was left in the mountains with his ankles tied together. Lauis left him with his ankles pinned together on a mountain shortly after he was born. This leaves him with a scar for the rest of his life. His injury represents the way his fate catches up with him. It shows that his movements have been restricted since his birth.
Another motif would be "the three-way crossroads." Jocasta explains that Lauis was killed where three roads meet. These crossroads describe the...