Oedipus Tyrannus Term Paper


Oedipus Tyrannous When debating the question if Oedipus is fortune's fool, a pure victim of fate, or responsible for his own density, a reader might be tempted to pose his or her instinctive argument in favor of fate. Firstly, in terms of plot structure, Oedipus actively resists the destiny foretold to him by the Oracle of Delphi. Like a good son, Oedipus tears himself away from the bosom of the adoptive family he calls home, namely the shepherd and his wife he has come to call a father and a mother, to avoid killing his father and marrying his mother. Yet despite this active resistance, the future King of Thebes ends up marrying his biological mother and killing his father without knowing he was doing such a thing.

Also, secondly, the plague that afflicts the city of Thebes is brought on by Oedipus' actions, yet the king condemns the man who caused this plague to exile -- without knowing this man is himself. Oedipus has no inner, moral instinct about what he has done. And finally and thirdly, Oedipus...


He did not set out to do so; rather the Sphinx's riddle was thrown at him while he was merely strolling by.
But despite these narrative elements, ultimately one must conclude that Oedipus bears some responsibility for his fate. Firstly, Oedipus showed hubris in thinking that by fleeing his parents, he could resist the destiny of the gods. Did he really think he could flee the will of the divine on foot? Secondly, Oedipus killed Laius, his biological father and the former King of Thebes in an act of pure rage, fighting on a road. The younger man did not have to act in so violent a manner to a slight. And thirdly, and lastly, no part of the prophecy required Oedipus to blind himself, or to enact as horrific a punishment upon his body as he did.

Question 2: Oedipus is no puppet of the Greek gods

The example of Oedipus is considered such a classic example of…

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