History Midterm On Themes In Oedipus Rex European History To 1648 Essay

591 words - 3 pages

Oedipus, the king of Thebes, must save his country from a plague. In order to do this, he must find and punish the murderer of the previous King, Laius. However, Oedipus was told his own prophecy, which is that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Several times throughout the play it starts to seem like Oedipus himself may be the murderer. He refuses to see this and keeps pushing for the answer. His mother/wife, Jocasta, also realizes what likely happened and urges Oedipus to stop asking questions. Oedipus refuses to stop, and when they are finally forced to see the truth, Jocasta kills herself, and Oedipus is so horrified that he blinds himself and exiles himself from the country.
The main theme of this play is that you cannot escape your fate. Oedipus’ parents were told his prophecy at his birth, so they nailed his feet together and threw him into the woods. Yet somehow, he was saved, and raised in a different country. When Oedipus learned of his fate, he fled his home to avoid it- which lead him to his real father, whom he kills at a crossroads on his way to Thebes. I used to think that the crossroads symbolized a choice, and that Oedipus’ anger was his tragic flaw- if he had been more patient, he wouldn’t have killed his father and thus married his mother. However, I think in this play the crossroads might symbolize the power of fate- he had other choices, but he was only destined for one. In this case, Oedipus’ fatal flaw (or hubris) is his pride and arrogance- he thinks he can escape fate, which no man can do.
The thesis of this story is represented by Oedipus, fleeing his country to escape his fate. The...

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