The Tragedy of Oedipus

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Indeed, Oedipus has the onus to be blamed for the two crimes involving incest and killing the father. While traveling, Oedipus meets King Laius and they engaged in a dispute about who had the “right of way”. After slaying the king, Oedipus later arrived in Thebes an answered the sphinx’s riddle. The correct response to it gave him access to the royal position in the kingdom where he inherited the crown and married the queen who unfortunately was his mother she had never met (Cox 69).

Oedipus is guilty of the two crimes because the Tiresias told him that it was terrible to exterminate the king but he ignored the warning and killed the king. His fate was predicted a long time ago (Cox 69). He should have acted responsibly and avoid killing the king besides committing horrible shame of marrying his mother despite the frequent warnings (Britton 99). Severally, Oedipus had preferred to ignore the advice given to him when he decided to travel to Thebes even after an Oracle had informed him about his fate of killing the king and marrying his mother (Cox 67).

Critically, Oedipus lacked self-control and killed the king and is to be blamed. He lacked self-control and killed his father without any restrain. As a grown-up person, he should be held responsible for his actions of entertaining rage in his mind. He did not have to murder anyone. Precisely, if Oedipus had used self-control and listened to the warning given to him by Tiresias and reflected on the prophecy which proclaimed his fate (Britton 103). Oedipus should have circumvented traveling to Thebes where he met the king, killed him and later married his mother because King Laius would have lived and stopped him from committing the two crimes of killing and incest (Britton 104). In other words, Oedipus was warned continuously by gods about the possibility of him killing his father and marrying his mother yet he decided to tempt this fate by going to Thebes, killing the king and marrying the mother.

Furthermore, Oedipus has enacted the law to exile anyone who would murder the king Lauis. Therefore, after cognizing that Oedipus is the one who did the very crime, he was obliged to stick to his own law and primarily exile himself (Cox 68). Oedipus deserved this punishment because he is the one who made it. Lastly, Oedipus had promised to help his people to get rid of the plagues. However, the gods said that it could only happen when the murderer is found who happens to be Oedipus himself (Britton 97).

In conclusion, Oedipus must be blamed for what happened and be held accountable for incent and murder. He deliberately chose to tempt his fate despite knowing the prophecy that proclaimed his destiny of killing his father mad marrying the mother. He did not listen to the gods when he was cautioned that by going to Thebes, he would fulfill his fate of killing the king and marrying his mother. He formed the law which required the person who killed the king to be exiled. Therefore, by being banished, Oedipus was being held accountable for his own actions.

Works cited

Britton, Ronald. "The missing link: parental sexuality in the Oedipus complex."The gender conundrum. Routledge, 2003. 91-104.

Cox, Michael W. "Sophocles' Oedipus the King."The Explicator 57.2 (1999): 67-69.

November 24, 2023

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