November 19, 2014
Oedipus Was the First Mother F***er
Although, Oedipus the King, by Sophocles was written in Athens, Greece in the year 425 B.C., it is still incredibly relevant regarding modern moral issues. Oedipus has become one of the most well known stories, even to this day: a man murders his father and then marries his mother. When it comes to a matter of morality, this play is a fascinating one to analyse. In the analysis of this tragedy we find that Oedipus is morally guilty of murder, and hubris, although hubris is not the reason for his eventual demise.
In the beginning of the play, King Oedipus (current king of Thebes) declares to the murderer of Laios (previous king of Thebes),
“Upon the murderer I invoke this cursewhether he is one man and all unknown, or one of many may he wear out his life in misery to miserable doom! If with my knowledge he lives at my hearth I pray that I myself may feel my curse. On you I lay my charge to fulfill all this for me, for the God, and for this land of ours destroyed and blighted, by the God forsaken” (951).
In this statement, Oedipus is calling out to whomever murdered King Laios to do the morally sound thing and turn themselves in. He curses a “life in misery to miserable doom” (951) to Laius’ murderer as well as anyone who is keeping the secret of who killed King Laius. Although, the play begins by having Oedipus call out Laius’ killer to do the moral thing, Oedipus does not hold himself morally accountable for the four murders he committed at the crossroads, “The old man saw me and brought his double goad down upon my head as I came abreast. He was paid back, and more! Swinging his club in his right hand I knocked him out of his car, and he rolled on the ground. I killed him. I killed them all” (968). He blatantly explained how he killed four random people in the middle of nowhere, and he states this very nonchalantly. ...
Cited: Gioia, Dana. "Oedipus the King." 2005. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama,
and Writing. By X. J. Kennedy. Seventh ed. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 94986. Print.
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