Is What Happens to Oedipus Fair? Are We Supposed to Respect Him? Would

Topics: Sophocles, Oedipus, Oedipus the King Pages: 4 (1618 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Sophocles uses a mixture of both visual and emotional imagery to create the morally questioning, Greek tragedy ‘Oedipus Tyrannos'. He presents the audience with an intense drama, which addresses the reality and importance of the gods that the Greeks fervently believed in. The play also forces the audience to ask themselves if there is such a concept as fate.

From the very beginning of Oedipus, it is made clear "that his destiny be one of fate and worse". The irony is that Oedipus unknowingly repeatedly predicts his own fate: "It was I who called down these curses on that man." Oedipus has unconsciously married his mother and killed his father, just as the Oracle predicted. Fate is proven to be unavoidable to Oedipus as the play shows a devout belief in the Greek gods. The Gods are seen as both "protectors" and "punishers", who can "turn fate back away". The gods are shown to have power over everything and everyone, and whoever ignores them will be cursed by the "darts no one escapes". Oedipus is one of these people who is seen to have ignored the gods' warnings and therefore has brought a curse upon himself, and all those around him: "Nothing grows in the earth, nothing in the wombs of the women." With the idea of fate comes the question of fairness. Does Oedipus deserve his pitiful destiny and if it was so pre-decided then why? It was yet again the God's powers.

It may be difficult to avoid pitying Oedipus, as despite his obvious sins, he is shown to be a respectable and honest man: "I bear more pain for the people than for my own soul". Sophocles uses irony to increase your growing pity for Oedipus as he searches for the ‘abomination' that is soon to be revealed as none other than himself: "That man must reveal himself to me". Oedipus is frantic to find the killer of Laios (his real father) so as to save the city from the "hateful plague" that the gods have brought upon them. When Oedipus gouges out his own eyes, the difference...
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