The Story of Oedipus

Essay by J-DogCollege, UndergraduateA+, August 1996

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A paper on the fairness of life, etc. according to the Oedipus, the King. N/A

Jason Garoutte

August 15, 1996

Lunt / Sn. English

The Story of Oedipus

After reading Oedipus, one may think that in this story, there was no

justice, and nobody could avoid their fate. King Laius and Queen Jocasta,

fearing the prophecy of the Delphic oracle, had the young Oedipus left on

Mount Cithaeron to die, but the father dies and the son marries the mother

anyway. Oedipus, seemingly a good person, also tries to avoid the second

prophecy, only to fulfill the first. But even through all this, I have done

some research and feel that there was justice in Oedipus, The King, and their

fate wasn't completely sealed.

First, the murder of King Laius. Laius seemed to die a unwarranted

death, but he was not necessarily in complete innocence, for he had done some

malicious things earlier in his life, such as the attempted murder of his son,

Oedipus, and the kidnapping and rape of Chrysippus, a young man Laius fell in

love with before Jocasta. And Oedipus wasn't as guilty under ancient Greek

law as he is under our modern laws. It was every Greek's duty to harm his/her

enemies, and as far as Oedipus knew, King Laius was an enemy.

Queen Jocasta wasn't exactly guiltless, either. The great Queen had also

tried with King Laius to kill their son, and had no respect for the prophecies

of Apollo: 'A prophet? Listen to me and learn some peace of mind: no skill

in the world, nothing human can penetrate the future.' She was also the other

half of a mother-son marriage. Greek law considered the act, not the motive

- meaning that even though she nor Oedipus knew they were...