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Oedipus, The Tragic Hero Essay

1926 words - 8 pages

Born into a royal family, Oedipus was one of the bearers of a disastrous generational curse. He had no idea what he was born into, or what he would become. Poor Oedipus was put into to the world to serve as an example from the gods. Although Oedipus was said to be a victim of fate, he contributed to his own fate more than the gods. He was placed into the world to with a prophecy that he will kill his father and married his mother and conceive children with her, but that was just a prophecy not his destiny. Oedipus could have determined a new destiny for himself, but instead he did more things to make the prophecy true rather than false. The life of Oedipus was a great tragedy, not only for him but for his entire family. Although the gods may have set a prophecy for Oedipus future, Oedipus contribute mostly to his destiny.
Oedipus was a great man. He saved Thebes from the Sphinx. The Sphinx was a terrible creature who stood outside the gates of Thebes asking anyone who come to go through gates a riddle. If the riddle is unanswered or answered wrongly, the Sphinx would kill them. Oedipus saved the city of Thebes by solving the Sphinx riddle, which led to the Sphinx killing itself. Oedipus was a great hero to the city of Thebes. He was their great savior so they gave him their queen and kingdom. Oedipus downfall was very tragic and shocked a lot of people that such a great hero could fall so low.
When Oedipus was running away from Corinth to end the prophecy he killed four men. Killing is something not condone in the Greek society, especially not killing a king. “[H]earing you just now…makes my thoughts race back and forth….. I think I’ve just called down a dreadful curse upon myself – I simply didn’t know” (pg.1150- 1151). Oedipus came to a realization that he might be the one who killed the king and had called down a terrible curse upon himself but have too much pride to admit it so he went about to find evidence that suggest that he did not. I understand that while running from Corinth Oedipus was only trying to run away from the prophecy. When Oedipus left Corinth he did not fully believe his parents that they were his biological parents but he left anyway to prevent the prophecy. In my opinion if Oedipus did not believe his parents in Corinth were his real parent why kill someone who is old enough to be your father. Why kill someone in general?
Oedipus also puzzled me when he married someone who was old enough to be his mother and conceive children with her. It was not just a coincident that he killed a man that was old enough to be his father and wedded a wife, a woman old enough to be his mother. “But I am the king now, I hold the throne that he held then, possess his bed and a wife who shares our seed”. Just by Oedipus saying these word he is repeating the prophecy that was set out for him. If someone had predicted that I would have married my mother, I would avoid marrying someone who is older than me, I might try avoid being married...

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