Fate's Deception Essay

1316 words - 6 pages

Classic Greek tragedies were used to portray controversies in that time period. “Oedipus Rex the King” by Sophocles is a classical Greek tragedy and is considered to be one of the most influential plays ever. There are many philosophical questions to ask in the play of Oedipus like; do we ultimately decide our own fate? Or is the path of life laid before us? Many of these’s questions are very controversial and are still discussed in the world we live in now. College-age readers can take a lot of away from reading this play, but most importantly is to question everything one thinks they know about life their life. Don’t believe what your eyes perceive.
To know the play of “Oedipus Rex the King” first the background to the play needs to be presented. King and Queen of Thebes Laius, the King and Jocaste, the Queen, visit an Oracle, which many Greeks did when making important life decisions. An Oracle is a virgin girl, which is picked by a priest to serve the people. The Greeks believed that the Oracle was the vessel of God and that they could communicate with them through these Oracles. The priest would hear the request of a citizen and bring it to the virgin women, who was chewing laurel leaves and inhaling ethylene gas, which causes hallucinations. The Oracle would say something non comprehensible; the priest would then interpret it back to the citizen.
The King and Queen of Thebes visit the Oracle and they are told that they will bring a son unto this world that will marry his mother and slay his father. This of course is Oedipus that they are talking about, so the mother and father decide that the best thing to do is give the child to a shepherd and order him to take it outside the city and kill the baby. Instead of killing the child he hands it over to another shepherd who gives it to the baby less royal family in Corinth. He grows up in Corinth as a prince and is told that Polybus, the king of Corinth is actual not his real father, he disbars this. Oedipus then goes to an Oracle for advice, and is only met with a grime fate. He is told that he is to kill his father and marry his mother. Still thinking that Polybus is his father he flees the city because he does not want this fate to come true. As he is wandering down the road he runs into a nobleman on a chariot and they begin to get in an argument and Oedipus ends up killing him. The nobleman happens to his actual father, Laius King of Thebes. After the dispute he continues his way towards Thebes and when he enters the town he is met by a Sphinx, who has been pestering the townspeople with her riddles. Oedipus is told the riddle and gets it right abolishing the Sphinx forever, the townspeople or so grateful that they elect Oedipus the King of Thebes in the absence of Laius, who Oedipus unknowingly killed. They also give him the Queen of Thebes, Jocaste to marry, who is actually his mother. So the prophecy has come true he has killed his father and married his mother. This is where the...

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