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Oedipus

Uploaded by Admin on Mar 27, 2000

The events in Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles, show an underlying relationship of man's free will existing within the cosmic order or fate that the Greeks believed guided the universe. Man was free to choose and was ultimately held responsible for his own actions. Both the concepts of fate and free will played an integral part in Oedipus' destruction. Although he was a victim of fate, he was not controlled by it. Oedipus was destined from birth to someday marry his mother and to murder his father. This prophecy as warned by the oracle of Apollo at Delphi was unconditional and inevitably would come to pass, no matter what he may have done to avoid it. His past actions were determined by fate, but his adventures in Thebes were controlled by his own free will. From the beginning of this tragedy, Oedipus took many actions leading to his own downfall. He could have endured the plague, but out of compassion for his suffering people, he had Creon go to Delphi. When he learned of Apollo's word, he could have calmly investigated the murder of the former King Laius, but in his hastiness, he condemns the murderer, and in so, unknowingly curses himself. "Tis a just zeal for the cause of that slain man. And right it is in me that ye shall see me fighting that cause for Phoebus and for Thebes”. In order for Sophocles' play to be categorized as tragic, the tragic hero had to have some sort of a flaw. The hero’s tragic flaws are the qualities, which ultimately lead to his downfall. Oedipus’ pride, ignorance, insolence towards the gods, and unrelenting quest for the truth ultimately contributed to his destruction. When Terrisias told Oedipus that he was responsible for the murder of Laius, he became enraged and calls the old oracle a liar. He ran away from his home in Corinth, in hopes of outsmarting the gods divine will. Like his father, Oedipus also sought ways to escape the horrible destiny told by the oracle of Apollo. The chorus warns us of man's need to have reverence for the gods, and the dangers of too much pride. "But if a man tread the ways of arrogance; fear not justice, honour not the gods enshrined; evil take him! Ruin be the prize of his fatal pride!” Oedipus' unyielding desire to uncover the truth about Laius' murder and the...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   03/27/2000

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (819 words)

Views:   1438

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