The Guilt Of Oedipus
The play Oedipus: “The King” presents the reader with a look into the horror of Oedipus’ destiny. Freud writes, “Oedipus was exposed as an infant because an oracle warned his father his son would be his murderer”(69). Oedipus was rescued and began another life with another royal family. After Oedipus found out about the oracle he tries to free himself from the oracle. Oedipus fulfilled the oracle and was driven away from the land. Was Oedipus guilty of murder and incest or not? Many facts have been found to prove that he is guilty, while many opinions are raised in favor of his innocence.
Oedipus was indeed guilty of murdering his father and having incest with his mother. The play itself is all the evidence needed to convict Oedipus of these charges. The play states everything that Oedipus did until he is driven away from the land. The evidence from the play would definitely make Oedipus guilty. In addition to the play there are other facts that would make Oedipus guilty. Freud states “Oedipus himself is the murderer of Laius, but further he is the son of a murdered man and of Jocasta”(70). Freud’s fact about Oedipus being his father murderer is true, and that makes him guilty. Another author Wheelwright writes “The fact that Oedipus performed slaying his father and bedding his mother without suspecting true relationship”(252). This comment backs the favor of Oedipus being guilty because it proves that he did the crimes. Oedipus knew what the oracle said he would do and having any knowledge of that should have made him more cautious of who he killed or had sex with. Since Oedipus wanted to know who his parents were Vellacott states “Oedipus investigated the murder of Laius and discovered his own double guilt”(207). Vellacott uses guilt in his commentary and proves that even Oedipus knows that he is guilty. Oedipus wanted to know who his parents were because a drunk told him he was a bastard, and Oedipus’ second...
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