Oedipus The King Research Paper

430 Words2 Pages
Thesis: Oedipus eventually realizes his responsibility in his downfall; tragically, too late. The Chorus in Sophocles’ play, “Oedipus the King,” sums up the hubris of Oedipus and his fruitless attempt to challenge Fate, “I cannot say that you have considered well / for you would be better dead than living blind” (1357-1358). Oedipus replies that in blinding himself he has shut out the things he does not want to see; it is the least he can do to atone for his sins, no matter how unwittingly he transgressed. His sins are so unforgivable that even the sight of his children (born of incest) cannot bring him any joy, “A parent’s eyes. What, born as mine were born? / No, such a sight could never bring me joy;” (1365-1366). Tragically, Oedipus realizes too late that he was the cause of the terrible events surrounding him and the people of Thebes; his fate was sealed by the gods when he was a child and that their prophecies have been fulfilled, “The canker that lay festering in the bud!” (1387). Even had he known the facts about his birth, the die was already cast.…show more content…
In the end, he slowly and reluctantly realizes he was the murderer he had vowed to find, “By my proclamation against the wretch” (1372). Tragically, he must admit that in addition to causing his own downfall, Oedipus comes to realize he was also responsible for the fates of others: the murder of his father directly by his own hand; the shame and suicide of Jocasta, his mother-wife; and, since their children were the result of incest, they are outcasts from society the rest of their lives. Oedipus laments, “Mingling the blood of fathers, brothers, children, brides, wives and mothers” and admits these are “horrors so foul to name them would be vulgar.”

More about Oedipus The King Research Paper

Open Document