Essay Example on Oedipus Rex by Sophocles is a greek Tragedy








Oedipus Rex by Sophocles is a greek tragedy that tells the story of Oedipus and what leads to his ruin The Oracle of Delphi tells King Laius of Thebes that his unborn child will be destined to kill him and sleep with his wife Jocasta the child's mother Oedipus is abandoned by his birth parents and adopted by the king and queen of Corinth Years later Oedipus questions Oracle Delphi about the identities of his real parents The oracle tells Oedipus his prophecy that he will kill his father and sleep with his mother Oedipus attempts running from his fate but is unsuccessful as he runs directly into it Every part of his prophecy was correct The real question is if Oedipus is indeed responsible for what happened to him Oedipus and those around him think that fate is the origin of his issues though Oedipus own rash decisions and actions shows the audience that he is the one who is accountable Due to Oedipus impulsive and prideful nature he allows his fate to come true and he is ultimately responsible for his downfall The Ancient Greek culture is known for having a number of gods who controlled the fate of man It was of the norm for one to seek out from the gods whats they had in store for them Consulting with oracles was considered standard However even though it was so widely practiced it was still very important to have deep respect and reverence for the gods which Oedipus unfortunately lacked in Immediately when Oedipus hears about the divine god s prediction of his fate he tries to run away from it

As a consequence for this the prediction does occur Eventually Oedipus believed that his prophecy was no longer reasonable or valid Because of the fact that Oedipus first instinct was to turn his back and run away from the prophecy in an attempt to escape it it can be deduced that Oedipus believed that the god s prophecies could be prevented from happening the prophecy would not really happen and that he could change them This demonstrates Oedipus disrespect for the gods because it shows that he doesn't really think that they are all knowing This disrespect and impulsive behavior is what led him to Thebes and this disrespect is what made him try and thwart the prophecy when the opposite effect took place He actually fulfilled it and caused his own downfall ironically enough While speaking with the chorus Oedipus even compared himself to the gods You pray to the gods let me grant your prayers Sophocles 245 Here disrespect of the gods is taken to the next level because Oedipus even compares himself to them For a great deal of his life Oedipus wanted to escape his fate With open ears he heard the Oracle say that he would kill his father and sleep with his mother Refusing to accept this Oedipus fled Corinth for Thebes to avoid his fate He comes face to face with an old man who happens to be his father Oedipus and the old man quarrel for really no good reason at all He refuses to let the old man pass by 

The dispute leads to Oedipus killing the man the man was riding in a chariot and his driver tried to push me off the road Sophocles 59 1043 1044 Oedipus is culpable for his pride It seems a little strange that even after knowing the truth that Polybus was not his real father it just seems too convenient that he purposefully killed a man who was old enough to be his father Oedipus was blind to the signs and did not consider his warning By leaving Corinth he thought he had escaped his fate In this very important scene Oedipus shows his lack of self control and his temper that prompts him to fulfill the prophecy of his fate There is nothing that forces Oedipus to kill Laius no accident occurred It was his own decision to kill the man that he encountered and it could have easily turned out differently if he didn t react in the way he did Upon Oedipus arrival to Thebes he is confronted with yet another decision and choice to make He could stay in Thebes become the king and wed the queen or he could just move on It is not a surprise that Oedipus decided to stay and his choice put him that much closer to fulling his prophecy In no way was Oedipus forced into marrying Jocasta though it was his own decision

Fate is not responsible Oedipus could have been more careful and could have thought longer and harder about what he was doing and why he was marrying a woman so significantly older than him Oedipus tragic flaws his arrogance and his temperament that are personal to him caused him to make the decisions he did Oedipus downfall really was up to him and he holds responsibility for his rash and temperamental actions They can not go unnoticed because he really brought all of the events that transpired onto himself It all began when Oedipus received his prophecy from the gods disrespected their vision thinking he could trick and outrun his fate Using this mentality he left Corinth and killed an innocent man who had done nothing to deserve being murdered fulfilling the first part of the prophecy For the second part he married his mother when he entered Thebes when he had a choice While fate does play a prevalent part in the play Oedipus still a great part in his downfall that could have been resisted if he approached all of the situations differently

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