The Cruelty Of The Gods In Oedipus The King

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The gods of Mt. Olympus bring down their fist of cruelty on Oedipus, a man whose fate had been prophesized since the day he was born. Oedipus the King was written in 429 BC by a Tragedian playwright named Sophocles. It tells of the rise and fall of Oedipus Rex. His writing shows the merciless cruelty of the gods. The chorus expresses, “For a man who has mounted to the highest places, must fall to meet his destiny below.” (Sophocles 34: lines 847-848) The chorus foreshadows the gods’ cruel and unjust will to bring Oedipus to his knees. While some might argue the gods were just, the gods were cruel to a point that we pity Oedipus, we mourn him, and we all hope to ourselves that we will not share the same fate. Oedipus, born under a prophecy that he would kill his own father and marry his own mother fled his home in Corinth to escape his decided fate. He traveled to Thebes to avoid the curse and on the way killed a man. Unbeknownst to Oedipus, the man he killed is his real father Laius, for his parents in Corinth are his adopted parents. Ignorant that he killed his true father he goes on to Thebes and marries Jocasta and becomes the king. Oedipus is still unaware that the prophecy has been fulfilled for Jocasta is his real mother. It is then that the god’s cruelty becomes evident. When Creon, Jocasta’s brother, explains, “Laius was…show more content…
Light, I shall not look on you again. I have been born where I should not be born, I married where I should not marry, I have killed whom I should not kill; now all is clear.” (Sophocles 45: lines: 1144-1148) In these lines the painful truth is revealed. As Oedipus gouges out his own eyes committing his last act of free will, the gods’ sadistic calling still isn’t done. Oedipus, now a blind beggar, is banished from Thebes and walks alone blind for twenty years, carrying the guilt and shame of his own

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