The Supernatural In Oedipus The King

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In the play Oedipus the King, Sophocles affirms that the gods ultimately have the final say to control one’s destiny; however, an individual is solely responsible for the decisions he makes. Approaching near the climax, Sophocles sets up a fundamental conflict of the play, the need for Oedipus and Jocasta to perceive the immutable state of prophecy through the consequences that deliver itself when the gods fulfill their plans for one’s destiny. The messenger even describes the omnipotent power of the gods, and witnesses the augury of death proposed by the supernatural, finally stating:
It must have been some supernatural being that showed the raving man where she was; it was not one of us. As if led by a guide he threw himself against the doors …show more content…

For Oedipus, prophecy is not the main source of his fall towards society; rather, his hubris blinds himself from recognizing his personal sin in the world, thus leading to his demise. Sophocles even skillfully uses a metaphor through the words “ as led by a guide” to further explain the “supernatural being” that ultimately decides the tragic fate of the family of Oedipus. In addition, through the death of Jocasta, the reader is immediately attuned of Oedipus’ raging moment of violence and will be petrified by the overwhelming power of the gods, thus realizing the importance of being cautious before making a final choice. Indeed, after an individual settles on a decision, the gods take control of the person’s fate, hurling numerous consequences to him if he makes the wrong decision. Moreover, as Oedipus suddenly becomes the unintended victim of the gods through his sinful decision to execute Laius, he is forced to relinquish his predominate impetus for pridefulness in exchange for a heart of deep realization and forgiveness. At the end of the play, Oedipus sacrifices everything in order to remove his guilt through the consequences of his atrocious actions witnessed by the gods. After Oedipus realizes the astringent fate he was destined to encounter through his sinful murder of Laius, he immediately attempts to take responsibility for his …show more content…

Oedipus’ epiphany is truthful in his current state, but his decision in failing to recognize his sin before his realization ultimately makes his epiphany invalid, and its sole purpose is to only assist him in receiving sympathy from the citizens of Thebes. Sophocles uses the phrase “this evil is mine” to suggest how Oedipus has matured through the course of his life, taking responsibility for his own sinful actions and behaviors. Certainly, Oedipus is filled with regret, and Sophocles even uses repetition on the word “guilt” to symbolize how this emotion has devoured his entire life into despair, where “sorrow” and “guilt” intertwine by force. Truly, as Sophocles comments, the ramification of making a sinful decision prompts an act of retribution from the gods in deciding the miserable fate of an individual through his rebellion towards evil against the supernatural. Thus, in the tale of Oedipus and his jinxed fate, Sophocles expresses Oedipus’ prideful attitude that is rooted towards hubris and the overconfidence it buys to illustrate the vicious cycle of the sinful decisions we make and the sudden awareness of how our own tragic flaw would lead us into impending trouble and overwhelming

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