The Oedipus Tragedy essays
Sophocles’ epic story, Oedipus the King, is a classic tragedy that explores how irony can affect ones life and how fate works more closely then one would expect. It is because of thisthat many argue over how to react to Oedipus, the king of Thebes. Though at times arrogant and overly assertive, we must look more closely at the life of Oedipus. He is a man whose leadership demanded such qualities to overcome the Sphinx and other challenges along his road to becoming king. From this we must become sympathetic, and understand how a man so determined and admirable to do good for the people Thebes, could possibly have done so many terrible things.
Oedipus was running from a prophesy of his fate. The story opens with Oedipus king of the Thebes with a population dying of a plague. Wanting to help his people, Oedipus opens his heart to his public saying “Here I am myself-you all know me, the world knows my fame. I am Oedipus”. By declaring this, he is declaring that he is part of the problem and that he will do anything to solve it. When asked by the old priest what Oedipus plans to do, Oedipus replies that “after a painful search he found one cure-he acted at once. He sent Creon, his wife’s brother, to Delphi Apollo the Prophet’s oracle – to learn what he must do or say to save the city”. Such determination showed how much Oedipus cared for his people and what bothered them. He later said that the plague “torments” him and that the city “now have him to fight” for them.
This determination to solve the problems of his people and help them is shown throughout the story. Even after Jocasta, his wife, beg him to just let it past and to forget about the curses he brought down on himself, he could not. He defies his wife when he declares, “What-give up now? Fail to solve the mystery of my birth? Not for all the world!”.By solving out his birth, he might possibly solve the riddle from Apollo and thus find out w