Theme Of Destiny In Oedipus

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Sophocles gives a whole new meaning to the word destiny in his Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex. King Laius and Queen Jocasta of Thebes are told a horrific oracle in which their son kills his father, marries his mother, and has children with her as well. In order to prevent the oracle from coming true, they abandon their son, Oedipus, on top of a mountain. A man working for King Polybus, who is the king of Corinth, finds Oedipus and gives him to King Polybus and Queen Merope. Many years later, Oedipus hears the oracle and decides to leave Corinth and go to Thebes to escape the tragedy waiting for him. On Oedipus’ way to Thebes, he gets into a fight with King Laius and his men and Laius is killed by Oedipus. By doing this, Oedipus unknowingly already …show more content…
Throughout the play he demonstrates moments of pure selfishness and ignorance. Teiresias, a blind prophet, comes to tell Oedipus that he thinks that Oedipus killed King Laius. This, of course, angers Oedipus and he begins to accuse Teiresias of being the real murderer and he is trying to replace Oedipus as king. Oedipus begins to talk about how wonderful he is for “saving” Thebes from the sphinx and how dumb Teiresias is because he is supposed to know all, but did not know the answer to the riddle. Oedipus explains to him, “But I came, Oedipus, who knew nothing, and I stopped her. I solved the riddle by my own wit alone” (460-464). Sophocles makes Oedipus very selfish to emphasize the fact that he believes he is so great and it would be impossible for him to do anything wrong, this way, Oedipus’ down fall is even more difficult. When the messenger tells Oedipus that King Polybus is dead, instead of being devastated by his adoptive father’s death, he is extremely happy because he believes he no longer has to live in fear that the oracle will come true. Oedipus says to Jocasta, “…and I stand here who never laid a hand on a spear against him, — unless perhaps he died of longing for me, and thus I am his murderer. But they, the oracles, as they stand—he’s taken them away with him” (1090-1095). Oedipus believes that Polybus died from missing him so much, rather than just old age. Sophocles makes this the …show more content…
Jocasta discovers that Oedipus is her son and that the oracle did come true. She is so devastated, she eventually kills herself. A messenger telling the people of Thebes of Jocasta’s death says, “And then she groaned and cursed the bed in which she brought forth husband by her husband, children by her own child, an infamous double bond” (1435-1437). Sophocles makes Jocasta kill herself to increase the intensity of the scene and really let the audience know how serious his downfall is. Before Oedipus knew that he killed King Laius, he promised everyone in Thebes that he would punish the murderer. When Oedipus decides to punish himself for his horrible crime, he tells Creon, Jocasta’s brother, to bring Oedipus’ daughters to him. He says to them, “Your father killed his father and sowed the seed where he had sprung himself and begot you out of the womb that held him” (1685-1687). Oedipus tries to escape his fate but Sophocles creates this dramatic scene in order to show the audience that fate will catch up with you sooner or later. Oedipus’ whole life revolved around this one oracle and every aspect of his life lead up to him fulfilling the

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