Courseworks

In the play king Oedipus, to what extent is Oedipus responsible for his downfall and for the tragedy that befell him and his family

In both cases king Oedipus is innocent and guilty, innocent with the fact that the gods doomed him before he was born and guilty with the charge of ignorance to the gods and his unstable temperament. I am to write witch of these opposing points of view I favour, for or against but what ever the out come I end with can only be a point of view as the evidence is stacked high on either side of the argument.Some could say that from Oedipus’s point of view, he was aggravated to assault, pushed around and presented with dishonour, so much so that he was forced to inflict the greatest revenge a man could enforce upon another by killing the king and all save one of his men. This was a mere dispute of witch had no long term relevance to Oedipus and so he gave no thought to the death of those men. I disagree, yes, the king might have been a bit harsh as to hit him around the head, but to no point does that evoked death upon the one who has done wrong. Naivety and ignorance to the fact that he was prophesised to kill his father, and that he has a slightest dowt that who he thinks his father might not be should lead to the fact that one should be cautious of whom he kills, let alone a whole convoy. In fact if he had the common sense not to kill anybody in his life time them the prophecy would not be!And so, this leads to my next dispute, Jocaster, it would only be right of a man who has taken a kingdom to marry the queen. By doing this he would rightfully become king, wouldn’t any man go through with this? But what if the women could be old enough to be his mother? As well as this , the custom at the time was to marry young women as low as 14 in some cases whom are virgin and that have never conceived before , there as ruling out the possibility of her being his mother. But no, he marries a women who is out of the accustomed marrying age, of which is not a virgin and has had a child that was a boy. Still he does realise this and blame all on the gods, it was not the gods of which took his common sense, this he by example has plenty of by defeating the riddle of the sphinx, but no he chooses to be naive, again and so forth condemns him and his family to that of misery.As a follow on to the previous paragraph, of course it was totally normal to marry in those days, in fact it was thought quite odd if you did not, you would have no heir and no legitimate children, but if questioned logically, would it have been better not to have married at all and to have saved yourself from the fate which has obviously been set before you. By a simple act of not marring or as the above not killing in your whole lifetime there would have been no conceivable way of which the prophecy could have materialised. So yet again I condemn Oedipus to his own responsibility of the tragedy that befell him.I come to the question that if Oedipus had not have left Corinth that none of this would have happened. It was not his fault the his foster parents did not tell him the truth about his origins and that a drunken fool had planted a seed of suspicion in his mind that lead to the questioning of his ‘parents’. So for this part it seems fate was against him and that his was not to blame for had no wrong doing to go to the oracle and hear the prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother. But, I say that there was no reason to run away, if he thought he knew where and who his parents were then he could control his own fate by not doing what the oracle said. He could have easily countered this by staying in Corinth, marrying a girl of an age where it was not possible to be his mother and take a vow not to take another’s life. As to the drunk telling him that his parents might not be his would this not reinforce that fact that he should stay where he is and remain stable and clear minded.As a husband of the time you were required to keep your wife in check, it could be thought that it was strange if not out of custom for Oedipus to let his wife speak so freely on whatever she wished, speaking her mind on whatever she pleased. This could maybe be prohibited as she was a queen and had a higher status than other wife’s. But you cannot miss that fact that Oedipus failed to restrain and control his own wife when she spoke ill of the gods and clearly defied them by denouncing the power of oracles as lies and deceit. This directly dishonoured Apollo as he is the patron of all oracles and when the god’s power is dismissed only bad can come of that person in that life and the next.To conclude , I think there is enough evidence to blame Oedipus for his and his families downfall , through his rash decisions , naivety , paranoia , ignorance and short temper he doomed him self to a life of misery . This is supported by the fact that him blinding himself was not in the prophecy, it was his guilt of knowing what he had done and how easily he could have prevented it that forced the pin into his eyes, not the gods.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top
x

Hi!
I'm Jamie!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out