Oedipus the King: When God Developed the Mankind

Oedipus the King

When God developed the mankind He gave them the right of free choice, a free will to pick the fate of their lives. One could choose to comply with God’s Word and live a life of pleasure, peace, and satisfaction, or one could pick to be prideful showing no reverence to the God that developed him/her resulting in a life of pain, distress, and suffering. The events in the play, Oedipus The King, written by Sophocles represents how life ends up for those who are bad-tempered, prideful, arrogant; revealing no reverence to God.

For that reason the defect of character (not fate), is responsible for the disaster that occurs in Oedipus the King. Sophocles desired his Greek audience to associate with Oedipus. He wanted to impart some kind of flaws in the character. This made Oedipus more practical and pertinent to the audience, producing a sense of fear that, “it might happen to them.” Oedipus’ pride, lack of knowledge, shock in the gods, and an unrelenting mission for the fact eventually contributed to his damage.

The chorus cautions the audience of one’s requirement to have reverence for the gods and the dangers of pride. “But if any man comes striding, high and mighty in all he states and does, no worry of justice, no reverence for the temples of the gods- let a rough doom tear him down repay his pride, breakneck, ruinous pride! If he can not restrain himself from outrage? mad, laying hands on holy things untouchable! Can such a male so desperate, still boast he can save his life from the flashing bolts of god? (pg 1323; lines 972-982) Oedipus’ confidence in his own intellect sometimes becomes arrogance, even to the point suggesting he amounts to the gods. Due to such self-confidence, Oedipus took numerous actions resulting in his own failure. Rather of being client and awaiting the pester to end, he picked to take matters into his own hands, trying to repair the issue himself, later sending Creon to Delphi.

When he discovered of Apollo’s prophecy, he could have calmly investigated Laius murder, but in his hastiness he passionately curses the killer, and while doing so he unconsciously curses himself. Oedipus announces, “Now my curse on the murderer. Whoever he is an only male unkown in his crime or one amoung many, let that guy drag his life in misery, action by unpleasant step? I curse myself also? if by any opportunity he shows to be an intimate of our house, here at my hearth, with my complete understanding, may the curse I just called down on him strike me!” (pg 1307; lines 280-287)

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