Tragic Fulfillment Of Fate In Theban Play By Sophocles

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In the Theban Plays, written by Sophocles, we are introduced to Oedipus, a man whose very existence leads to a series of pre-destined events which not only affects him, but everyone else around him as well. His efforts to prevent an oracle’s fulfillment proves to be useless as he, unknowingly, carries the prophecy to fruition. Sophocles uses dramatic irony in the tragic plays to show that one’s fate is not easily escaped especially if past events continue to weigh one down. The “sins of the father” theme is prominent throughout the entirety of the three Theban plays and its tragic fulfillment of its consequences are reflected in: Oedipus and his parents; Creon and his wife and son; Antigone, Ismene, their brothers, and their father. For Oedipus …show more content…
For Oedipus, the murder of his father and incest with his mother, prove to have tremendous consequences. However, Oedipus’ birth in and of itself seems to be predestined to doom. Upon making the preliminary discovery that he is indeed responsible for killing Laius, and is the son who was fated to be married to Jocasta, Oedipus asks openly, “was I not born evil?” (OTK 822). From this excerpt, we can assert that Oedipus, too, understands that his actions in his life are not the only ones that bring such tragic misfortunes his way, but that he has also inherited the sins of those before him and is set to face the consequences of their actions as well. The Chorus, in Antigone, confirms this as they state that they can “see the ancient evils of Labdacus’ house are heaped on the evils of the dead. No generation frees the other / there is no deliverance” (A 648-650, 651). If this is to be completely true, the children of Oedipus have also inherited not only the consequences for the sins of their father, but those of his father as well. These sins weighed down the characters during the three Theban plays. For example, Antigone became the physical and metaphorical crutch for the blinded Oedipus as he journeyed through his years of exile from place to place. Antigone, as Creon points out in Oedipus at Colonus, “had no part in marriage” because of her role as his caretaker in his time in exile (OAC 851). This example serves to illustrate the way in which the generational curses have impacted Antigone’s life. She does, however, attempt to shed the weight of sin that burdens her in her final days of her life as she chooses to ignore Creon’s edict, which states that “no one honor [Polynices] with a grave and none shall mourn him” (A 223). Her act of defiance against the man-made laws in respect to the divine laws of the gods is her chosen method of ridding herself of

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