Essay on A Struggle with Fate in Oedipus the King by Sophocles

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Oedipus the King, a greek tragedy, is the story of a man's struggle against his fate.
The author Sophocles, uses many different themes and contrasts in his writing. The most obvious theme being irony. An oracle was given by the priests of Apollo, that a son of King Laius and Queen
Jocasta would murder Laius and marry Jocasta. Oedipus was taken as an infant, left to die, but was rescued by a shepard and his wife. Oedipus grows up, not knowing his true identity and fulfills the prophecy. After unknowingly killing King Laius during a chance encounter, Oedipus travels to the city of Thebes, where he solves the great riddle of Sphinx that no one else could solve. The people of Thebes were so overjoyed to be free
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He assures them, as King, that the murder will be solved and the murderer will be brought to justice. He further calls down the very curses that the people are concerned about upon himself and the nation, saying "...I call down this curse in the gods' name: let no crop grow out of the earth for them, their wives bear no children. Rather let them be destroyed by the present plague or something even worse." His final statement, "May justice be our ally and all the gods be with us forever!," shows his complete and utter ignorance of the true identity of the murderer of King Liaus, himself. Oedipus does not realize that he is headed towards destruction by the very words of his mouth. He exhibits a passion to find the murderer and this relentless pursuit will culminate in him being revealed as the murderer. He offers to show mercy to those involved, but ultimately it is he that will need the mercy. The greatest irony is the entire speech itself. Oedipus meant the speech to be honest, upright, and just, but unknown to him every word is the complete opposite. This shows Oedipus, the man desiring to do the right thing, but completely helpless against his fate. Oedipus pursues the "murderer" relentlessly, and slowly beings to realize the horrible truth of his identity. Queen Jocasta begs him to stop his search, but he vows to keep his promise and find the killer no matter what the cost. He calls in the soul surviving witness to the murder, and he also
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