Essay On Fate In Oedipus The King

Essay On Fate In Oedipus The King-69
It could be argued that Oedipus' arrogant personality brings about his own misery, making him directly responsible for his sins. may an evil doom smite him for his ill-starred pride of heart! Oedipus is arrogant and unbending; he refers to himself as "Oedipus, whom all men call the Great" (8), and asks his subjects "why do you sit here with your suppliant crowns? Oedipus' pride is stoked by the people of Thebes, as the priest tells him that "it was God / that aided you men say, and you are held / with God's assistance to have saved our lives" (38-40).Arrogance and egotism did sit well in Greek society, as the Chorus explains that "insolence breeds the tyrant" (874) and that "if a man walks with haughtiness . As a result of this, Oedipus makes lofty proclamations - he tells the people that the murderer of Laius will "wear out his life / in misery to miserable doom" (247-248) - but does little to ameliorate the situation in Thebes.If Oedipus were guilty of his sins, Apollo would have punished him directly.

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It would seem that Oedipus is receiving his just reward for his treatment of others, especially when he tells Creon that his only choice is to kill or banish him for supposed treachery.

Oedipus also insists that he "must be ruler" (628), despite the fact that he shares equal power with Creon.

When Oedipus gouges out his eyes, he explains, "they will never see the crime I had committed or had done upon me! Oedipus is ashamed of what he has done and realizes that a self-inflicted punishment is the only way to rectify the problem.

When the chorus claims that he would be "better dead than blind and living" (1367), Oedipus replies that this is the best way to punish his arrogance.

Unfortunately while Oedipus is considered the "noblest of men" (46) he is undone by a "terrible oracle . While Oedipus committed serious crimes, he did them unwillingly and out of ignorance.

In fact, Oedipus does not gather condemnation from the people - only pity. Seeing what has transpired, Oedipus realizes that a higher power is responsible for his destiny and his crimes.Apollo holds ultimate responsibility for Oedipus' crimes because Oedipus is a mere pawn in the god's plan to punish Thebes.He tells them that "I do not know with what eyes I could look" (1371) upon his parents, "those two to whom I have done things deserving worse punishment than hanging" (1373).Oedipus, while not responsible for his crimes, feels that he is dishonoring the parents that raised him by foolishly defying his fate.He understands the heinous nature of the crimes told in the prophecy so he "fled to somewhere where I should not see fulfilled / the infamies told in that dreaded oracle" (796-797).Oedipus deliberately defies his fate out of the hope that he will not kill his father and marry his mother - two sins that he tries to avoid at all costs.But since Oedipus tells the messenger, "Old man I did not wish to kill my father," (1001) he tried to spare his "parents" from his unfortunate destiny. Here Oedipus is not acting out of spite towards his actual father, but is returning blow for blow, as was common in the day.The marriage to Jocasta was also a matter of coincidence, as he wins her hand not by treachery but by saving Thebes from the Sphinx.Oedipus' does not suffer the divine wrath of Apollo, but instead inflicts his own punishment.Apollo's wrath seems to fall upon Thebes, which suffers because of Oedipus' presence.


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