Oedipus The King

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"Coldblooded would I be, to be unmoved by petitioners so pitiful" (p.5). In the opening stanza of "Oedipus the King," the great Grecian, Sophocles, introduces Oedipus as a savior and hero. This classical author's most obvious point in the first play was that you cannot escape your fate, or in simpler terms, your destiny. Does right make right? That would depend on which angle you look at it. There are two sides to the question, the will of mortal man over all and the authority of the gods. Oedipus obviously believed he was doing the right thing by his escape of Corinth, but was it right to try and escape his fate and defy godly rule and intervention in human life? Sophocles deals with the matter of human will and divine "fate" and whether "right makes right" in "Oedipus the King" and "Antigone." Fifteen years prior to the time and setting of the first play, the Oracle of Delphi told Oedipus that he was destined to marry his mother and murder his father (p.3).

Oedipus believed he could escape this fate by leaving Corinth and starting a new life. He willed his future to be something other than what the gods had in store for him. Oedipus was a powerful and proud ruler who believed he could save his city no matter what the consequence. He attempted to avoid the divine power of the gods by leaving his childhood home, only to find the parents he'd known his entire life were not his true parents. Oedipus murdered King Laius during a disagreement on his way to Thebes, unbeknownst to him that this mysterious traveler was the King of Thebes, and more importantly, his father. He conquered the Sphinx at Thebes, was crowned King, and married the widowed Queen...