The intention (motivation) of Oedipus in Oedipus Rex
Oedipus Rex, also known as Oedipus the King, is one of the most ironic plays ever written. Sophocles, the author, is a famous philosopher of the ancient times. The Play is about Oedipus, the king of Thebes, who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother. An oracle warned Laius, the king of Thebes prior to Oedipus, that his son would slay him. Accordingly, when his wife, Jocasta, bore a son, he exposed the baby on Mt. Cithaeron, first pinning his ankles together (hence the name Oedipus, meaning Swell-Foot). A shepherd took pity on the infant, who was adopted by King Polybus of Corinth and his wife and was brought up as their son. In early manhood Oedipus visited Delphi and upon learning that he was fated to kill his father and marry his mother, he resolved never to return to Corinth. Travelling toward Thebes, he encountered Laius, who provoked a quarrel in which Oedipus killed him. Continuing on his way, Oedipus found Thebes plagued by the Sphinx, who put a riddle to all passersby and destroyed those who could not answer. Oedipus solved the riddle, and the Sphinx killed herself. In reward, he received the throne of Thebes and the hand of the widowed queen, his mother, Jocasta. They had four children: Eteocles, Polyneices, Antigone, and Ismene. Later, when the truth became known, Jocasta committed suicide, and Oedipus, after blinding himself, went into exile, leaving his brother-in-law Creon as regent. The central theme in this work is that one cannot control his/her fate, whether the intentions are good or bad. Oedipus, the main character in this play is motivated to find the truth, and his intentions are good. The motivation is always followed by the intentions, just as the truth is followed by goodness. There are three critical parts to Oedipus’s motivation. There is the prophecy, the realization, and the revelation. They will be discussed consecutively. The beginning of...
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