Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles
The events in Oedipus the King, composed by Sophocles, show a relationship of male’s free choice existing within the fate, which the Greeks believed, directed deep space. Male was totally free to pick and was eventually held responsible for his own actions. Both the principles of fate and free choice played a major part in Oedipus’ destruction. Although he was a victim of fate, he was not controlled by it. Oedipus was predestined from birth to sooner or later marry his mom and to murder his father. This prediction as cautioned by the oracle was unconditional and would likely occur, no matter what he may have done to avoid it.
From the start of this catastrophe, Oedipus took lots of actions causing his own downfall. Oedipus could have waited for the plague to end, however out of compassion for his suffering people, he had Creon go to Delphi. When he discovered of Apollo’s word, he could have calmly investigated the murder of the former King Laius, but due to his impatience, he passionately curses the killer, and in so, unconsciously curses himself. “Upon the killer I invoke this curse- whether he is one man and all unknown, or among lots of- might he wear his life in torment or doom!
If with my knowledge he lives at my hearth, I hope that I myself may feel my curse.” (pg. 438; lines 266-271) In order for Sophecles’ Greek audience to relate to the terrible figure, he needed to have some type of characteristic defect. This brought the character down to a human level, conjuring up in them the fear that “it could take place to them.” And Oedipus certainly is not one without flaws. His pride, and lack of knowledge, and his quest for the reality ultimately contributed to his own destuction. When Oedipus was informed (after threatening Teiresias), that he was responsible for the murder of Laius, he ended up being infuriated and calls the old oracle a phony.
He then escaped from his home, Corinth, in hopes of outsmarting the gods. Like his daddy, Oedipus likewise looked for methods to get away the awful fate informed by the oracle of Apollo. The chorus alerts us of male’s need to have respect for the gods, and the threats of too much pride. “If a guy strolls with haughtiness of hand or word and gives no observe to Justice and the shrines of Gods despises- might an evil doom smite him for his ill- starred pride of heart!– if he reaps gains without justice and will not hold from impiety and his fingers itch for untouchable things.
When such things are done, what male shall contrive to protect his soul from the shafts of the God?” (pg. 452; 975-984) Oedipus’ unyielding desire to reveal the fact about Laius’ murder and the secret surrounding his own birth led him to the awful awareness of his dreadful deeds. Teiresias, Jocasta and the rancher attempted to stop him from pursuing the reality. Consider example a part of the last conversation in between Jocasta and Oedipus.
After recognizing that the prophecy had came true, Jocasta begs him to just let the mystery go unsolved for as soon as. I ask you- do not hunt this out- I plead you, if you have any look after your own life. What I am suffering is enough.” (pg. 461; 1158-1161) Oedipus replies, “I will not be encouraged to let possibility of discovering the entire thing clearly.” (pg. 461; 1166-1167) He is not able to stop his quest for the reality, even under his better half’s pleading. For he needs to fix the final riddle, the riddle of his own life.
Upon discovery of the truth of his birth from the herdsman, Oedipus cries, “I who first saw the light reproduced of a match accursed, and accursed in my living with them, cursed in my killing. (pg. 465; 1300-1303) Oedipus understood that his fate had actually undoubtedly come to pass and feels cursed by it. The chorus then sings an ode on the grief of life and the terrible fate to which even the most honored, like Oedipus are ultimately subject. “What male, what man on earth wins more happiness than a seeming and after that turning away? Oedipus you are my pattern of this, Oedipus you and your fate! Luckless Oedipus, whom of all guys I coveted not. (pg. 465; 1305-1311) At the end of this terrible story, when Oedipus cuts out his eyes, the chorus asks him what god advised him to blind himself.
Oedipus replied, “It was Apollo, friends, Apollo, that brought this bitter bitterness, my sadness to conclusion. However was the hand that struck me was none but my own.” (pg. 467; 1450-1453) He claimed complete duty for his actions. Oedipus was guilty of killing his father and marrying his mom, but perhaps the real sin lay in his attempt to raise himself to the level of the gods by trying to leave his fate. The reality that Oedipus’ motives for eliminating his daddy, and weding his mom, does not take away from the dreadful nature of the criminal activities.
When he tears at his eyes, Oedipus is accepting the guilt of his acts and knew that he needs to be punished for his sins. Therefore the last act of destruction was not brought on by Oedipus’ free will, but his tragic fate came about because of the nature of the cosmic order (that every sin must be penalized) and role of the gods in human affairs. The chorus concludes this catastrophe by cautioning the Greeks, that the only method to happiness is through humility and respect towards the gods, (qualities which Oedipus lacked, and ultimately led to his destruction.) They also alert not to take anything for approved, or suffer a fate like that of Oedipus.