The Fate of Oedipus the King
Oedipus the King, a play by Sophocles, is the story of Laius, a murdered king.
Oedipus, husband of Jocasta (Liaus's widow) is the current king of Thebes. The city is
suffering under a terrible plague and Oedipus is challenged with finding a way to get this
Priest: Oh, look upon the city, see the storm
that batters down this city's prow in waves of blood:
The crops diseased, disease among the herds.
The ineffectual womb rotting with its fruit. (Oed. 6)
Unsure of how to save his people, Oedipus consults with Creon about the oracle of
Apollo on how to save the city of Thebes. Creon brings news that the gods have spoke of
the murder of Laius. To save the city from being damned, Oedipus must find the
murderer that lurks in his kingdom. By agreeing to avenge the murder, it shows that
Oedipus has a great love for his city and determination to seek out ironically himself.
Oedipus who had no control over the fate and that circumstance he was put through leads
us to the reason why we care. Along with the dramatic irony being that we already know
his fate we sympathies. Oedipus, was a victim of fate, left to kill his father and marry his
mother leaving us only to have pity.
Oedipus, a man who has bad judgment and frailty, shows this by his anger control
when confronted by Tiresias. Although Oedipus called for his help, he is struck by the
accusation that he somehow is a problem. At this point Oedipus does not know the whole
truth but it shows that he is unwilling to except Tiresias wisdom. "I'm blind, you say; you
mock at that! / I say you...