The Fate of Oedipus the King

Essay by asupmillowHigh School, 12th gradeA, November 2002

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The Fate of Oedipus the King

Oedipus the King, a play by Sophocles, is the story of Laius, a murdered king.

Oedipus, husband of Jocasta (Liaus's widow) is the current king of Thebes. The city is

suffering under a terrible plague and Oedipus is challenged with finding a way to get this

problem solved.

Priest: Oh, look upon the city, see the storm

that batters down this city's prow in waves of blood:

The crops diseased, disease among the herds.

The ineffectual womb rotting with its fruit. (Oed. 6)

Unsure of how to save his people, Oedipus consults with Creon about the oracle of

Apollo on how to save the city of Thebes. Creon brings news that the gods have spoke of

the murder of Laius. To save the city from being damned, Oedipus must find the

murderer that lurks in his kingdom. By agreeing to avenge the murder, it shows that

Oedipus has a great love for his city and determination to seek out ironically himself.

Oedipus who had no control over the fate and that circumstance he was put through leads

us to the reason why we care. Along with the dramatic irony being that we already know

his fate we sympathies. Oedipus, was a victim of fate, left to kill his father and marry his

mother leaving us only to have pity.

Oedipus, a man who has bad judgment and frailty, shows this by his anger control

when confronted by Tiresias. Although Oedipus called for his help, he is struck by the

accusation that he somehow is a problem. At this point Oedipus does not know the whole

truth but it shows that he is unwilling to except Tiresias wisdom. "I'm blind, you say; you

mock at that! / I say you...