Sophocles Oedipus The King

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Prophecy and fate play a central role in Sophocles’ Greek tragedy, Oedipus the King. Even before Oedipus is born, the god Apollo has already determined the tragic nature of his existence. Each action that Oedipus takes to defy the gods causes himself and the city of Thebes to suffer greatly, substantiating Apollo’s original intentions. It is important to note that the audience is aware of the ultimate outcome of Oedipus. Sophocles used tragic irony in many plays, where the audience understands the words and actions of a character, although the character is unaware. Sophocles introduces Oedipus by highlighting his achievements. He has ascended to the throne as the King of Thebes after solving the riddle of the murderous Sphinx and freeing …show more content…
Tiresias is not flattered and immediately chastises him for being so foolish and ignorant. Oedipus becomes increasingly angry each time the prophet will not reveal what he knows and finally begins hurling insults at the old man. After quite a large quantity of verbal assault, Tiresias becomes enraged and he lets out the truth: Oedipus himself is the murderer, Jocasta is his mother as well as his wife, and he is the corruption that must be driven out of the land. Even though Oedipus knows Tiresias to be a true prophet of Apollo, his self-confidence prevents him from thinking and acting rationally at this point. In front of the entire city, Oedipus alleges that Creon sent the prophet to Thebes with that message in order to mislead the people and steal the throne from him. Oedipus is still ignoring the signs that things may not be as they seem to be. He is still brazenly pushing forward to seek the truth. The chorus is still confident in Oedipus because they deeply believe that the gods chose him to save Thebes from the Sphinx and he is destined to save them again. “We saw him with our own eyes, his skill, his brilliant triumph – there was the test – he was the joy of Thebes! Never will I convict my King, never in my heart”

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