Oedipus: Victim of Fate

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 348
  • Published : March 6, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
In the play "King Oedipus", by Sophocles, Oedipus is caught in a series of tragic circumstances. When he was only a few days old he was left on a mountainside to die because of an oracle said that he wound grow up to be the murderer of his father, the king. However, the baby was found and taken to the nearby city of Corinth, where Oedipus was adopted as the son of the king and queen there. He was never told about his true past. After growing up, and having returned to Thebes, Oedipus becomes a victim of fate due to his strange circumstances and inability to escape the oracle.

Can't Escape Destiny
The oracle, put upon Oedipus from his birth, condemned him from the start. First, the fear of this prophecy that Laius and Jocasta, his birth parents, were told caused them to have their son‘s feet nailed together and leave him to die on a mountain. The second time the oracle is told, Oedipus is a young man, and hears it for himself. Assuming that it applies to Polybus and Merope, his adoptive parents, he flees Corinth. "As this I fled away, putting the stars between me and Corinth, never to see home again, that no such horror should ever come to pass." (795-797) Last, instead of just living out his life and destiny, Oedipus tries to run from it. This causes Oedipus to think he has overcome the oracle. By running, however, he just made it worse by coming closer to his real problem. Oedipus can't escape the relentless fate that pursues him. Inevitably the oracles prophecies are fulfilled. By being kept in the dark about his past, Oedipus is living a lie. Not knowing the true identity of his parents causes him to murder his father. Soon after that Oedipus reaches Thebes, and by answering the Sphinx's riddle, he becomes king and marries his mother, the queen, who he doesn't know is his mother. For years Oedipus lives this sin and lie, and rules Thebes in wealth and prosperity while having four children. With all these things done, the world seems to be trapping...
tracking img