Which Crimes Had Oedipus Unknowingly Committed: Essay

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Oedipus The King is a work heavily focused on Justice. Oedipus, as a king, discovers that the only way he can save his beloved city and its people is to seek and punish the murder of his predecessor. He is determined to establish justice and peace in his city. He starts to uncover the murder mystery but he faces harsh and irrevocable consequences. The most promising theme of the play is that human beings are powerless before faith and God. Human beings are merely a puppet in the hands of gods. Human beings have hardly any free will. Although Oedipus tries his very best to defy his fate his entire life by leaving his adopted parents, killing the sphinx, and solving a murder mystery, he ultimately faces a dreadful end. Oedipus even makes an oath that he will bring this slayer, even if it is himself, to justice which highlights the sincerity and character of Oedipus. He would not have taken such wow lightly e because is dedicated to quotes through his lifelong faith in justice. would never define the gods because the murderer says ---

Now my curse on the murderer. Whoever he is, alone man unknown in his crime or one among many, let that man drag out his life in agony, step by painful step {172}

The implication surrounding the guilt of Oedipus can be applied to the story. Within the story, not only one character carries the guilt of the events in the play, rather it is a culmination of people trying to avoid their destiny that creates a paradox of individuals who are all at once guilty and innocent. Each character performs a different activity which leads to the events causing Oedipus to face his inevitable destiny. This can be further understood by the fact that if that messenger would have killed the child, that drunkard had not called him a bastard, Laius would have been a good King and asked for the way politely, Laius had tried to solve the dispute by dialogue and had not gone first to struck him; Oedipus would not have met his fate. The messenger, Drunkard, Laius, and Messenger from Corinth all at once acted in the way prophecy was supposed to be fulfilled.

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Jocasta's fate is probably even more tragic and impressive. One may also be tempted to blame Jocasta for her role in the prophecy coming true, however, that is also unfair. Firstly it is important to remember that women had little to no power in ancient Greece, even if they were queens. It is a fair assumption to make that Jocasta had no choice in the matter of marrying Oedipus when he came to Thebes, he was the new king so she would marry him to maintain her power. In considering Jocasta's innocence it is also important to remember that she did try to kill Oedipus as a baby, which, while morally out of her powers, shows that she should not be held responsible for the prophecy coming true. She was unlikely to be punished even by the ancient Greek society which had rather strict rules concerning the woman's behavior. She was absolutely unaware of the fact that Oedipus was her son. Of course, she might have certain problems later in her life. However. Sophocles does not give any direct evidence. Therefore, the only way to punish her was to do it independently without any outside help. Jocasta's Inner guilt was so strong that it demanded some logical final. She could not live with her shame. It served as the main destructive force in her fate. Jacosta never believed in prophecies and always denied it saying it was irrational to believe in prophecies. That was the only crime she ever committed and to give up on life for that is rather too strict.

Oedipus' entire case of innocence depends on the fact that he was ignorant of his crimes. He had no choice but to act otherwise. One may also point out that he should not have killed an older man when he had received the prophecy but we also keep in mind all the elements in the act including emotional ones. He left his home, was no prince anymore, left his beloved parents and city back and now he is just waking on a road pondering on his future and a person tries to kill him over a road dispute! He acted at once in self-defense and killed the assailant. He would have either saved himself or looked for the age of the person. He chose to act the very first instinct. Any human would have chosen to kill than be killed. One point should also be considered here that the ancient Greek audiences would not have held some guilt of murder in self-defense. It was not considered a punishable crime. As a matter of fact, it was not even considered a crime at all. Oedipus was not guilty of murder or incest because he had no idea of the crimes he was committing. Oedipus had an ego and anger problem, that's all. That was his hubris and the main reason for his downfall. As the ancient saying goes-- no guilty act without a guilty mind.

Oedipus was not the villain of the story. He was the hero. He knew the truth must be found out to save the city and its people. He even grew suspicious of his guilt in the crime but it did not stop him from seeking the truth. He never kept the investigation off the public knowledge. '' Speak out, speak to us all.''{163]. It was upon himself to save the city of Thebes. He accepted whatever punishment the gods had announced. In the end, Oedipus emerged as a tragic hero who punished himself because he was wise and knew that a crime has been committed and he took full responsibility for himself. In the end, he also showed his immense faith in prophecies by blinding himself. He believed Tiresies' prophecy that he will go blind although it was never mentioned in the original prophecy. He faced punishment because of actions for which he is not blameworthy. Put another way, he was horrendously victimized by fate.

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Which Crimes Had Oedipus Unknowingly Committed: Essay. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/which-crimes-had-oedipus-unknowingly-committed-essay/
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