Oedipus, Oedipus And Oedipus Essay

1438 Words Oct 4th, 2015 6 Pages
A rosy cheeked child plays Chutes and Ladders with uncanny ruthlessness as his soft, plump hands curl into fists ready to obliterate the board in a reign of terror. His merciless disposition is rivaled only by that of an unforgiving god who waits for the game of a prophecy to unfold onto its victims. In each case, the game is unwinnable for the tyrant’s opponents. The opponent’s only choice is to refuse to play the game; he can refuse to be subjugated to either the child’s tantrums or the god’s wrath. For a god, a prophecy is a game that makes the competitor the rival and the pawn. Apollo manipulates both Oedipus and Jocasta in a game that is their lives. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus and Jocasta struggle to survive in a world that Sophocles portrays as an unwinnable game. Oedipus’ belief that he has beaten the prophecy followed by both his and Jocasta’s refusal to participate in the god’s game illuminates societal conditions of subservience and willful ignorance in Thebes.
Both Oedipus’ belief that he has beaten the prophecy and society’s praise not only causes Oedipus’ arrogance, but also reveals Thebes as a submissive society. As a young man in Corinth, Oedipus learns from the Oracle at Delphi that he is destined to “kill [his] father, the one who gave [him] life!” (Citation). Oedipus is misinformed and believes that his adoptive father, Polybus, is actually his biological father. Consequently, he runs away from Corinth in an attempt to beat the prophecy. For years,…

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