Oedipus: A Victim of Fate

Oedipus: A Victim of Fate

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Oedipus was a victime of fate, his futur was foretold by an Oracle, he had no way of knowing that his wife was his mother nor that the stranger he killed was his father. Oedipus could not prevent his own downfall. Oedipus was the king of Thebes, he became king when he cured the city of a deadly plague. He cured the plague by solving the riddle of the mythical creature, the Sphinkx. Now the city is suffering from another plague and as king Oedipus must solve the riddle of this one.

When Oedipus was born he was taken to an Oracle, this was custom for the rich. The Oracle was to tell his fate. The Oracle said that when Oedipus grows up he will marry his mother and he would also kill his father, "... Why, Loxias declared that I should one day marry my own mother, And with my own hands shed my father's bool. Wherefore Corinth I have kept away far, for long years; and prosperd; none the less it is most sweet to see one's parents' face..."(p36 ln1-6). When his parents herd this they gave Oedipus to a man and he was to get rid of the baby by leaving it in the forest, but an servant of Polybus, the king of Corinth, finds the baby and brings him to the king. The king falls in love with the baby and takes him in as one of his own.

Oedipus left Corinth to avoid his foretold fate, he went to Thebes. On his journey he ran into a caravan at the crossroads before entering Thebes. This caravan was of the present King of Thebes, Laius, but Oedipus did not know that. The people on the caravan started insulting Oedipus. Oedipus lost his temper and in a rage he killed them all, except for one servant who escaped "... I found myself upon the self-same spot where, you say, the king perished ... When in my travels I wa come near this place where three roads meet, there met me a herald, and a man that rode in a colt-carriage ... And the old man himself, would thrust me, I, deing enraged, strike him who jostled me-- The driver-- and the old man ... He paid though! duly I ay not; but in brief, smitten by the staff in this right hand of mine ...

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out of the carriage straight he rolls down headlong; and I slay them all..."(pg29 ln13-27). As it turns out the man he killed was his real father. There was no way that Oedipus could of kown that this stranger was his father, he had never met or seen him ever before that one time.

After Oedipus finished killing his father, he continued on his journey to the city of Thebes. When he arrived at Thebes there was a wide-spread plague in the city. In order to free the city of this plague you had to solve the riddle that came with it, the riddle of the Sphinkx. Oedipus was clever enough to solve the riddle, which in turn cured the city of the plague. The city which was recently missing a king made Oedipus the king since he saved them. In the imperial palace there was Jocasta, a recent widdow of the missing and presumed dead King Laius. As it was acustomed, Oedipus married the widdow Jocasta. The city was happy with their king for the next years, Jocasta and Oedipus had two daughters. Then another dark cloud came over Thebes, there was another plague infecting the city. An Oracle was contacted and the way to solve this riddle was to banish the killer of the former king Laius from the city. Oedipus in the process of solving the riddle Oedipus found out that Jocasta was infact is real mother "But she, perhaps ... I have her for mother..."(pg39 ln1-5). When Jocasta finds this out he then kills her self, "The illustrious Jocasta is no more..."(pg44 ln18).

Therfore after all that being said, I firmly believe that Oedipus was a helpless victime of fate. Oedipus's future was foretold by an Oracle of the Gods, he was to kill his father and wed his mother. Oedipus did all of these and he had no choice in the matter.
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