Oedipus Rex Sparknotes

776 Words4 Pages
The Sparknotes analysis on the crossroads in Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex” is a disorganized argument that claims that the intersection symbolizes fate. Ironically setting the premise of the argument with a counteractive piece of evidence, the Sparknotes passage was unsubstantial and misguiding. Essentially this claim assumes that Oedipus’s life was caused by a tragic predestination rather than hubristic decisions. On it’s own, the crossroads can symbolize either an unavoidable endpoint of multiple paths or more commonly a moment of decision. Because the prophecy began at such a tender age and was unavoidable despite multiple attempts, fate is the determining factor of Oedipus’ downfall; thus it cancels the more common interpretation of crossroads.…show more content…
According to Iocasta,”Laios was killed/ By marauding strangers where three highways met;/But his child had not been three days in this world/ Before the king had pierced the baby’s ankles/ and left him to die on a lonely mountainside” (Sophocles, 38). The clear repetition of the number three indicates that Oedipus was destined for this tragedy since his birth. In both scenarios, the number was involved during points of prophecy diversion and assumed free will. When Oedipus was three days old, King Laios tried to murder him to revoke the future and when Oedipus came across the king, the crossroads had implied a sense of decision during his attack. The reason for his encounter and eventual murder is also evidence of fate over free will. Once he discovered he was destined to sleep with his mother and kill his father, he left Corinth and his adoptive parents to only realize that his journey led him to his actual parents and the prophecy;”Apollo said through his prophet that I was the man/ who should marry his own mother, shed his/ father;s blood; with his own hands/ and so, for all these years/ I have kept clear of Corinth, and no harm has/ come” (Sophocles,52). Although Oedipus believed he was able to conquer the prophecy, his actions seem to have been predetermined to ultimately result in a certain fate. Similarly to how the crosswords instinctively seem to signify moments of decision, Oedipus originally believed he had a choice to…show more content…
As a prophet, Teiresias’ duty is to share his observations of nature as translations of the future in order to warn and prepare people. In this scene, Oedipus’ arrogance seems to be the trigger of Teiresias’ defiance to sharing his knowledge. However, Teiresias attempted to hold back his knowledge also because he knew that, “whether I (he) speak(spoke) or not, it is(was) bound to come”(Sophocles,18). If this notion is applicable to all of his prophecies, then Teiresias’ job is unnecessary. It seems as though Teiresias is exasperated of witnessing people attempt the impossible as a result of his prophecies. Even in the beginning of the play, Teiresias knew there was no hope in trying to change the

    More about Oedipus Rex Sparknotes

      Open Document