Oedipus the King: Role of Gods

Topics: Oedipus, Family, Delphi Pages: 3 (1084 words) Published: October 25, 2001
"Gods can be evil sometimes." In the play "Oedipus the King", Sophocles defamed the gods' reputation, and lowered their status by making them look harmful and evil. It is known that all gods should be perfect and infallible, and should represent justice and equity, but with Oedipus, the gods decided to destroy him and his family for no reason. It might be hard to believe that gods can have humanistic traits, but in fact they do. The gods, especially Apollo, are considered evil by the reader because they destroyed an innocent man's life and his family. They destroyed Oedipus by controlling his fate, granting people the power of prophecy, telling Oedipus about his fate through the oracle of Apollo, and finally afflicting the people of Thebes with a dreadful plague. Fundamentally, by utilizing fate, prophecies, the oracle of Apollo, and the plague, the gods played a significannot role in the destruction of Oedipus and his family.

By controlling fate, the gods carry all the responsibility of Oedipus in killing his father and marrying his mother. They are the only ones who can control fate, and thus they are the only ones to blame for what happened to Oedipus. They could have made Oedipus' life less miserable, but they decided to destroy his and his family's life by this terrible fate without him committing a sin. "It was Apollo, friends, Apollo, who brought to fulfillment all my sufferings. But the hand that struck my eyes was mine and mine alone." Oedipus blames Apollo for his two shameful crimes that caused his sufferings. On the other hand, he admits that the gods had nothing to do with his blindness, and that he's responsible for that. Also, in the previous quote, Oedipus tries to diminish his shame by convincing his people that it is not his fault, but Apollo's, for murdering his father and marrying his mother. The moral of this story is that human beings can't escape their fate, and thus it is not Oedipus' fault for committing those two crimes. To...
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