Oedipus and Sophocles Essay

Submitted By yaoyi0529
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The moral of “Oedipus the King”

The Sophocles' tragedy “Oedipus Tyrannus” shows that violence can beget only more violence and that actions of the past produce certain responsibility for it in the future. Oedipus becomes a victim of circumstances, which appeared by his fault and carries a severe punishment for it. The detail analyze of his actions and behavior shows that all events in the tragedy are logical and consequent.

The grievous destiny of Oedipus is the direct result of his dreadful sins of patricide and incest. However, these sins appeared because of Law's, Oedipus' father, primordial purpose to kill his son, as he discovered a God's prophecy that the king will die from hand of his son and take his place on the throne. He wanted to evade his fate with the help of violence and as the result it served a main reason for a corresponding violence and consummation of prediction. The Law's death is corroborated from words of predictor Teirisias to Oedipus: “I say you are the murderer of the king whose murderer you seek.” (Sophocles, p.6). The king bare his chest for his cruel purpose, but his death has become determinative for Oedipus.

The past actions of main character has fair effects on his life, as he discover the horrible true about the murderer of previous king, who appeared to be his father, by his own hands and furthermore, he opens the fact of incest with his own mother, who was the wife of Law and became Oedipus' wife after the Law's death. As he recognized all his past delinquencies, he begins to feel a deep suffering for it: “I who first saw the light bred of a match accursed and accursed in my living with them I lived with, cursed in my killing.” (Sophocles, p. 19). It leads him to the equitable self-punishment by puncturing of his eyes, that gives him the further will to live.

There is also another reason for Oedipus' punishment, that concerns with his tyrant's and self-importance behavior. He considers himself as a great king, who saved the people of Thebes from the deadly menace of Sphinx and that his right on the king's throne is absolutely fair: “But I came, Oedipus, who knew nothing, and I stopped her. I solved the riddle by my own wit alone.” (Sophocles, p.7). He claims