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Oedipus: The Scapegoat Or The Murderer?

1397 words - 6 pages

In the Sophocles play, “Oedipus Rex,” discrepancy between whether Oedipus is the main culprit for murdering King Laius or if Oedipus has become the scapegoat for the cause of the city’s plague that took many lives. The murder of King Laius strikes the interest of many readers and therefore creating the discussion of who would be a culprit for the crime. One side of the argument shows the Greek Gods set a curse upon Oedipus making his destiny one of wrongful conviction for a murderous crime. On the argument’s opposing side the goddesses determine Oedipus’s fate will be to murder his own father unknowingly on his way to becoming King of Thebes. Also, a third argument can be made as to Oedipus did murder his father to save his family from a fate worse than the prophecies set upon the family. Combining these theories makes for an interesting discussion that could aim in many directions. Therefore, these directions of murder may lead to a conclusion that Oedipus has become the city’s scapegoat or his fate was to murder his own father King Laius or another possible conclusion could be Oedipus’s commitment of the crime for the sake of his own family.
To begin with, the protagonist in, “Oedipus Rex,” Oedipus creates a large issue and that issue being he is either a murderer or a scapegoat to the city of Thebes. Such an argument could go either way easily since the statements convicting Oedipus within the play are inconsistent and typically assumptions. Otherwise, if the side arguing that Oedipus is the killer is true the possible basis would be the pursuit of superiority was the causal factor for the murder. Also, the pursuit of greatness was a creation of the gods and therefore the situation of murder was unavoidable for Oedipus and King Laius. However, if the argument’s direction is towards Oedipus being the scapegoat for murder. The basis for argument is Oedipus wrongly makes convictions towards himself as the culprit for murder. By believing such facts he finds the of anguish people in Thebes suffer from is due to Oedipus’s own destiny set by the gods. Since Oedipus’s believes the city is suffering he makes the decision to sacrifice himself to relieve the people of Thebes’ from their pains.
Also, interest among readers is made and there is room create assumptions as there could be many other characters who might have done such a horrendous murder. Since the idea of someone else committing the murder is available it possibly would prove Oedipus is innocent of the account murder. The murderer is never factually know but assumptions are made to who did murder King Laius and only one person knows the true killer as Kreon describes to Oedipus, “They were all killed but one, and he got away so frightened that he could remember one thing only.” (Prologue 121-22) After the unique comment the conversation went on to explain how the search came to an ending due to the Sphinx’s riddle that offset the mission. With these details above in mind it is extremely...

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