Oedipus' Destiny

Topics: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Greek mythology Pages: 3 (936 words) Published: June 28, 2008
Road to Self-Destruction
From the ancient Greek society to the modernistic world in which [we] reside, the one constant which has had the ability to both bind and divide masses of people remains to be an unparalleled belief in a higher power. For it is human nature to submit to a divine presence as justification for that which is beyond the realm of man's comprehension. But what are the criteria to substantiating the intangible? Fleeting passions have lead many to challenge the limits of mankind, to question the existence of a superior force, and, ultimately, to become apathetic to the issue. In contemporary society, such extremist mentality is accepted, if not commonplace. However, in ancient Sophoclean society, those who dared to avoid their predestined fate, essentially elevating their status beyond human boundaries, were doomed for failure. In the noteworthy Greek play, Oedipus the King, the essential character's inability to accept the divine will results in a perpetual shifting of motives that amount to his ultimate demise.

Upon learning his dismal fate, Oedipus initially disregards the validity of it and, subsequently, attempts to flee from the physical "setting" in which his prophecy is associated. According to an oracle revealed to him by Apollo, King Oedipus is burdened to be the murderer of his father and the husband of his mother. Once he learns of this prophecy he leaves Corinth to escape fate; little does he know that his ultimate demise awaits his arrival. For it is in Thebes that he meets and kills his biological father, King Laius, and solves the riddle of the Sphinx that lands him in his mother's arms. For most of his life he is forewarned of this horrible fate. However, Oedipus fails to recognize the fact of the matter, for he assumes Polybus and Merope of Corinth to be his true parents. He chooses to ignore the oracle of the gods and, instead, allows his free will to take precedence. In turn, he takes on the role of a leader...
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