Oedipus Rex Paper

Topics: Parent, Oedipus, Mother Pages: 3 (482 words) Published: November 7, 2013
Laura Garabrandt
Mrs. Johanek Boro
English 4
“Oedipus Rex” Paper
4 September 2013

Grief Is Self-Constructed

“The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves.” Grief can be caused by many

different things, although I would agree with this quote in that the greatest grief we could ever

have is grief that we create for ourselves. This quote is perfect for most of the grief that occurs

to Oedipus in this play. Many people can directly apply this quote to their life and to many of

the grief they go through.

Oedipus has many different things that cause him grief within the play. A major grief

that occurs to Oedipus within the play is that he doesn’t know who his real parents are. In the

beginning of the play a drunken man tells Oedipus that he is no son of his parents. Oedipus

says, “…a man in his cups said I was no true son of my mother and father”. Oedipus could have

avoided this grief by knowing that it doesn’t matter who his biological parents are, but who his

caretakers are. Oedipus says, “So having heard, I put Corinth far behind me.” Oedipus doesn’t

fully cause this grief on himself, but he does take it too close to heart. When Oedipus lets this

grieve him, he causes many more future grievances for himself by leaving Corinth.

Another grief that Oedipus causes himself was trying to escape his fate. When Oedipus

hears that he is no son of his parents he decides to visit a Seer. Oedipus relays what the Seer

said by saying, “I was fated, he said, to defile my mother’s bed and bring forth progeny

intolerable to the light.” After hearing his prophecy Oedipus decides to leave Corinth to escape

his prophecy of killing his father and defiling the bed of his mother. As Oedipus thinks he is

outsmarting the gods, he runs smack dab into the middle of his fate where three roads cross.

Oedipus kills his biological father, King Laius, where the three roads meet. Oedipus is made King...
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