Professor TraverHUMN 300
April 22, 2013
Tragedy is common among the Oedipus family. Each person in the line of Oedipus tries to defy authority in one way or another. Oedipus and Jocasta both defy the authority of the gods by trying to run away from a prophecy of theirs, which results in Jocasta’s death and Oedipus’ downfall in Oedipus the King. Antigone defies the authority of the king by violating his edict, which results in her death in Antigone. This family is prone to extreme misfortune but is it a curse placed on them by the gods and completely out of their hands? Or is the source of their problems caused by their own hands? Indeed the trials and events placed in front of this family were challenging but it was possible for them to overcome their adversity. Oedipus could have simply headed the warnings from Tiresias and Jocasta to not seek his past, leaving him ignorant and happy of his situation. Antigone blatantly stood against Creon, simply obeying the king’s orders would have spared her the tragedy that she received. Ismene could have simply helped her Antigone, not having to live with the guilt of abandoning her sister. The authority which Oedipus and Jocasta defy is the same. Both the king and his mother defy the authority of the gods by trying to evade their edict. The edict states that a son would be born to Jocasta who would marry his mother and kill his father, as Oedipus says, “How mating with my mother I must spawn a progeny…having been my father’s murderer. (Oedipus, 44). When Jocasta hears of this, she attempts to save the baby Oedipus by giving him away to a shepherd. Jocasta defies the gods’ authority, which in this case comes in the form of running away from a menacing prophecy. In the end, however, Jocasta dies and Oedipus is ruined. Like her parents, Antigone defies a mighty authority. Unlike her parents though, that authority is not of the gods, but rather of a person who thinks he is a god:...
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