Covenants in Genesis and Oedipus Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

How could that be true when that child was left in the woods to die?

Oedipus is calmed, but he still sets out to solve the murder-mystery and punish the man who committed regicide. As more details come to the surface, however, Oedipus starts to get a bad feeling. The evidence indeed points to him: Laius, he learns, was slain at the same crossroads where Oedipus took the lives of a group of men. Was Laius among them? Apparently so…as Oedipus also learns that he was the babe whom Jocasta and Laius abandoned -- and indeed has grown up to ruin the house by killing his father and marrying and having children with his mother Jocasta. Jocasta (sensing that this might be the case) had pleaded for Oedipus to halt the investigation, but determined to know the truth, Oedipus called the herdsman who found him tied to a tree to come and give testimony. The herdsman testified to the horror of all in Thebes. Jocasta hangs herself in despair, and Oedipus blinds himself and exiles himself from Thebes. He stumbles out with the assistance of his child Antigone.

Oedipus' fault through all of this was that he did not know himself. As Socrates would teach, knowing oneself is of prime importance. With the loss of his external vision, however, Oedipus gains internal sight: he comes to know himself more fully, accepting his circumstance in all humility and realizing that one must not challenge the gods. As Oedipus leaves...
...Yet, the good that comes from the knowledge that he has gained proves to bind his child to him for the rest of his days and secure for himself a good death and a reconciliation with the gods. Oedipus in the end learns the truth about himself, which is more important than any kingdom.

And in a sense that is what the covenant between God and man teaches us as well. Although God promises Abraham that his descendents will rule over nations, what God Himself shows in the New Testament is that the Truth (which Socrates before his judges says belongs to God alone) is more important than any earthly kingdom. It is through the covenant that God desires to remind man exactly who he is and what he owes his creator -- in short, that he owes his God worship in exactly the way that his God demands it. So, too, does Oedipus also learn how he stands in relation to the gods. While at the beginning of the Sophocles' drama, Oedipus challenges the priest and insists that he knows nothing about what the gods have to say, by the end of the drama Oedipus is very willing to submit to the truths that the oracles and prophets assert. Oedipus, indeed, learns even great men must be humble before God.

Works Cited

New Revised Standard Version Bible. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2009. Print.

Sophocles. Oedipus…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

New Revised Standard Version Bible. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2009. Print.

Sophocles. Oedipus the King. Internet Classics Archive. Web. 10 Dec 2011.

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