Oedipus

Topics: Sophocles, Prophecy, Murder Pages: 2 (514 words) Published: July 1, 2013
Oedipus Tragedy

The play “Oedipus the King” can be described as nothing more than a tragedy. From the beginning Oedipus is doomed by his destiny that was foretold by the prophet when he was just an infant. His parents tried to kill him to avoid what would come and he later left his adopted parents to avoid the same outcome. In this play he faces a hard decision; to abandon his quest and fail his people or to pursue his quest and ruin himself.

The play begins in tragedy as Oedipus speaks to his people and a priest to find out what has brought them to the altars and what plagues them. He is a good king and wants to do whatever he can to help his people. “A rust consumes the buds and fruits of the earth; the herds are sick; children die unborn, and labor is vain.” That line from the first page of the play is a description the Priest gives Oedipus of the condition of Thebes. Oedipus is heartbroken to see his people like this and had already sent Creon to the Oracle to seek help. Creon returns to tell everyone that the only way to rid the plague is “by exile or death, blood for blood. It was murder that brought the plague –wind on the city.” That murder they would later find was committed by Oedipus. This would be only the beginning of this tragedy.

After questioning a lead on the murderer he was warned not to pursue the truth. Now he has to decide to either not to pursue his quest for the truth and let his people die or continue, which would ruin himself. In the first choice of giving up on his quest the oracles prediction would mean that the sickness would not leave Thebes and all of the people that he loves would die. On the other hand he could continue his quest and save his people but would then destroy himself. Both choices end in tragedy and there is no foreseeable good to come from this play. Oedipus, being the great king he is, decides to pursue the truth of who murdered the previous king anyway because to him that is...
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