Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles, is a play that explores the concept of fate and free will. The story centers around Oedipus, a man who becomes the king of Thebes after solving the riddle of the sphinx and saving the city. However, unbeknownst to Oedipus, he has fulfilled a prophecy that he would one day kill his father and marry his mother. As the play progresses, Oedipus becomes determined to uncover the truth about his past and the circumstances of his birth.
The play begins with Oedipus receiving a prophecy from the Oracle of Delphi that he will one day kill his father and marry his mother. In an attempt to avoid this fate, Oedipus leaves his home and travels to Thebes. Along the way, he encounters and kills a man who he later learns is his father. Oedipus then marries the widowed queen, Jocasta, who is unaware that Oedipus is her son.
As the play continues, a plague afflicts Thebes, and Oedipus becomes determined to find the cause and bring an end to the suffering of his people. In his search for answers, Oedipus sends his brother-in-law, Creon, to the Oracle of Delphi to seek guidance. When Creon returns, he tells Oedipus that the cause of the plague is the murder of King Laius, Oedipus' father.
Oedipus becomes convinced that the former king's murderer is still at large and sets out to find the truth. He interrogates a series of characters, including the blind prophet Tiresias and the shepherd who helped raise him, and eventually discovers that he is the one who killed his father and married his mother. Overwhelmed by the revelation, Jocasta kills herself, and Oedipus blinds himself in grief and shame.
Throughout the play, the characters struggle with the concept of fate and free will. Oedipus initially believes that he can escape his fate by leaving his home and avoiding the prophecy, but ultimately realizes that he cannot escape the consequences of his actions. On the other hand, Jocasta believes that fate is predetermined and cannot be changed, while Tiresias asserts that both fate and free will play a role in a person's life.
In the end, Oedipus the King illustrates the complex relationship between fate and free will, and how the choices we make can have unforeseen consequences. The play serves as a cautionary tale, warning us to be mindful of our actions and to accept the consequences of our choices.
Independent and Dependent Variables
The Persians and other plays. CHORUS LEADER Yes, I recognize the man. After a fight between the two, Oedipus kills Laius, unaware he has just killed his own father. O light, may I behold thee nevermore! Who so fit As peacemaker to reconcile your feud? My hopes are fluttering here and there, with no clear glimpse of past or future. Phoebus, may my words find grace! There is another important human failing that contribute toward his tragedy i.
OEDIPUS A heaven-sent oracle of dread import. OEDIPUS And is he living still for me to see him? TEIRESIAS Let me go home; prevent me not; 'twere best That thou shouldst bear thy burden and I mine. MESSENGER You were afraid you might become corrupted through your parents? Amphitrite was a goddess of the sea, married to Poseidon. Oedipus has sent Creon to Delphi to find out from the oracle there what to do. OEDIPUS What led thee to explore those upland glades? Offspring of golden Hope, thou voice immortal, O tell me. The guide there tried to force me off the road— and the old man, too, got personally involved. I shall assist you willingly in every way.
The man who sets out on his new task by sending first for the venerable seer is not lacking in pious reverence; but we also observe that Oedipus manifests unrestrained arrogance in his own intellectual achievement. Introduction to Mythology: Contemporary Approaches to Classical and World Myths. MESSENGER One touch will send an old man to his rest. OEDIPUS That is well said. Often, it is an object that stands for an abstract thing or idea. And on the murderer this curse I lay On him and all the partners in his guilt :-- Wretch, may he pine in utter wretchedness! OEDIPUS Did you not investigate the killing? The man from whom I had thee may know more.
If I was born their child. OEDIPUS I thought I heard you say that Laius was murdered at a place where three roads meet. One way of deciding this question is to examine what other characters in the play say about Oedipus. OEDIPUS How baseless, if I am their very son? CHORUS Rumors bred unjust suspicious and injustice rankles sore. So he assumed the power and married the widowed queen. What can you say to make them worse? Healer of Delos, hear! Retrieved 28 February 2022.
OEDIPUS How long is it since these events took place? OEDIPUS What sort of cleansing? Her sons lie in the dirt unpitied, unlamented. After a careful search I grasped the only help that I could find 80 and acted on it. For ancient oracles which dealt with Laius are withering—men now set them aside. I cannot look at you. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
But you can reveal this better if you now will tell me one thing more. Considering that the events of this play follow a prophecy, this is a curious statement. How like a ghost forlorn My voice flits from me on the air! And there the people saw your knowledge was no use— nothing from birds or picked up from the gods. No, let me be a dweller on the hills, On yonder mount Cithaeron, famed as mine, My tomb predestined for me by my sire And mother, while they lived, that I may die Slain as they sought to slay me, when alive. OEDIPUS But I am the gods' abhorrence.
OEDIPUS How long is it since Laius. What shall I say? TEIRESIAS I see your words are also out of place. Retrieved 23 February 2022. OEDIPUS Question and prove me murderer if thou canst. CREON Abroad; he started, so he told us, bound For Delphi, but he never thence returned. His character is further marked with suspicion about Creon to whom he considers as a conspirator.
JOCASTA Then thou mayest ease thy conscience on that score. Then we beheld the woman hanging there, A running noose entwined about her neck. Retrieved 25 August 2014. Here, Oedipus means that Creon is brilliant or radiant. OEDIPUS Hold on, old man.
CREON Laius was killed. OEDIPUS My poor children, I know why you have come— I am not ignorant of what you yearn for. OEDIPUS Since they will come, you must inform me. Father Zeus, whose hand Doth wield the lightning brand, Slay him beneath thy levin bold, we pray, Slay him, O slay! Restore our city, so that it stands secure. What have you planned for me? CHORUS LEADER To a fearful place from which men turn away, a place they hate to look upon. Lo, at length They bring the god-inspired seer in whom Above all other men is truth inborn.