Downfall In Oedipus The King

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In life there are goals that people strive for, things they try to accomplish. However, at times there are obstacles that people cannot foresee. There are certain things in an individual’s life that is out of their control and will stop them from achieving their goal. In Sophocles play, Oedipus the king factors contributing to the protagonists ultimate demise are those of the Oracle, The first Shepherd and Oedipus himself. The Oracle is to blame for Oedipus’s demise as it contributes 50% to his downfall. For example Creon returns to Thebes from his journey to Delphi with the answer from the Oracle stating to Oedipus “He was murdered; and Apollo commands us to take revenge upon whoever killed him” (Sophocles, Prologue, 110). Oedipus is forced…show more content…
With the shepherd being the only witness at Laios’s murder Creon emphasizes this quote as “He said that a band of highwaymen attacked them, and overwhelmed the king” (Sophocles, Parados, 123). This quote shows that the shepherd was the only witness at the scene of the murder he should have told the truth that Oedipus was the one who killed Laios instead he lied and said Laius was killed by thieves. In fact the shepherd does not do as he was told. He tells Oedipus that “I pitied the baby, my king, and I thought that this would take him far away to his own country” (Sophocles, Scene 4, 67). Here we see that letting Oedipus live was not the best course of action to take. Oedipus brought about pain and suffering to himself, and those around him, if the shepherd had done as he was told the prophecy would have never been fulfilled. As a result of knowing the truth the shepherd leaves Thebes, Oedipus asks if the Shepherd is in Thebes and Jocasta say’s “No; for when he came back at last and found you enthroned in the place of the dead king, he came to me, touched my hand with his and begged that I would send him away to the frontier district where only the shepherds go as far away from the city as I could send him” (Sophocles, Scene 2, 230). From this we can understand that the shepherd leaves Thebes because he knows that if he stays he would have been bothered and forced to tell the truth. He might have…show more content…
As a result of finding out that his parents are not his real parents he seeks the answer from the Oracle. Oedipus says, “I heard all this, and fled. And from that day Corinth to me was only in the stars Descending in that quarter of the sky, as I wandered farther and farther on my way To a land where I should never see the evil sung by the oracle” (Sophocles, Ode 2, 267). Oedipus’s decision to flee Corinth and his actions through his journey led him towards his fate. Oedipus could have talked to his parents about the issue before leaving Corinth. Furthermore Oedipus’s action at Phocis is also to blame as he fulfills the first part of the prophecy which is you will kill your father. Oedipus says, “He was paid back, more and more! Swinging my club in this right hand I knocked him out of his car, and he rolled on the ground. I killed him.” (Sophocles, Ode 2, 276). Oedipus could have moved out of Laios’s way and taken the next root instead he let his pride and anger cloud his judgment and kills his father Laius. This decision leads him straight to Thebes, where he becomes king and marries his mother and fulfills the second part to the prophecy. Nevertheless, his constant search for the truth is also to blame for his downfall. Oedipus says “I will not listen; the truth must be made known” (Sophocles, Scene 3, 145). Oedipus obsession with finding the truth despite being begged by Jocasta to
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