analytical Essay
1400 words
1400 words

Destiny and Individual choice in Oedipus Sophocles’ tragic play, “Oedipus the King”, or “Oedipus Rex” as it’s known by its Latin name, is the Athenian drama that revolves around the events which lead to the demise of Oedipus Rex. The King Oedipus is forced down a preordained path that throws his entire world into a spiral of tragic providence, in this trilogy of a Theban play. Sophocles assigns the tragic hero to a downfall with the impossibility of changing the written fate; perhaps the views of today’s society would feel sympathy for the predicament that Oedipus is forced into, however, the publics of ancient Greece would accept that the path laid before them was a creation of the Gods. “Oedipus the King” reflects the ancient Greek credence in the belief that a person can do nothing to avoid their destiny, an idea that contrasts with what society believes today. Oedipus was unknowingly set down the path towards impending doom by the Gods at an early young age, and perhaps one could venture as far as to say that his destiny was written before he was born into this world. He was sent away from Thebes by King Laius and Queen Jocasta - his true parents - and was raised by the king and queen of Corinth. The truth of this arrangement was concealed from Oedipus. He was then later told by a prophet that he was destined to “mate with [his] own mother, and shed with [his] own hands the blood of [his] own [father],” Oedipus inadvertently fulfils the final half of this prophecy while leaving Corinth with the intention of avoiding this realisation. He meets the King Laius, of Thebes, at a crossroads. Whether out of pride or a simple argument, Oedipus ultimately commits an act of unknowing patricide over who had the right of way. Being unawar... ... middle of paper ... ...age, his loyalty to Thebes, and his loyalty to the truth." (Dodds 43) Man has been said to be the master of their own destiny, but it all leads down to who is master and who is man. Perhaps it is not for us to question fate as it leads to the development of events that is outside our control. The real question that can be derived from the quagmire of philosophical understanding of moirai, is whether we accept our predetermined future and synapomorphy designed for us by a higher power. In breviloquence, the idea of Katharsis that causes the deep sense of pity and fear in the audience would disseminate throughout the viewers, making them feel sympathy, but not empathy. It is important to understand how this feeds the Status Quo, not in a disruptive manner, but in a more subservient nature when one challenges social taboo, the gods, or fate, in ‘anathemic' intention.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes sophocles' tragic play, "oedipus the king", which revolves around the events which lead to the demise of oe
  • Analyzes how oedipus was unknowingly set down the path towards impending doom by the gods at an early age. he was sent away from thebes by king laius and queen jocasta - his true parents.
  • Analyzes how oedipus is distressed by the plague that starved the population and wreaked disaster among the city of thebes.
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