Does Oedipus Know His Fate

Decent Essays
Oedipus Rex, the story about drama, confrontation, confusion, and tragedy is one of four famous Greek tragedies of it’s time, and today. Written by Sophocles for Ancient Greeks was the first of four plays detailing how the tragic life of Oedipus came to be. Throughout the tragedy we see that Oedipus does not know who he is, though the audience is fully aware of his fate. Above the temple of Delphi are the words “Know Thyself”. This is ironic because of the lack of knowledge Oedipus has about his life. Oedipus does not know who he is in the sense of his parents, his actions, and his marriage. Starting off, Oedipus does not know who he because of his parents. In the beginning of the play Oedipus strongly believes that King Polybus and Queen…show more content…
There he became angry and killed Laius and everyone with him except one. When a rumor of a killing at the crossroads is brought up with Jocasta (his wife/mother) and Creon (who Oedipus accuses of trying to steal his crown), he remembers the time he did this and becomes nervous. Oedipus describes the time that he was at the crossroads to Jocasta “I became angry/ and struck the coachman who was pushing me./ When the old man saw this he watched his moment,/ and as I passed he struck me from his carriage… And then I killed them all” (page 13). This worries Jocasta and Oedipus but she tells Oedipus not to think too hard about everything, but Oedipus orders for the person who killed Laius to be found and killed. Ironically, as the audience knows, the killer of Laius (his real father) is actually Oedipus. When a messenger comes to tell everyone that King Polybus…show more content…
Throughout his life, Oedipus never thought his life would end up in marrying his mother. But his hubris led to his tragic downfall in the end. His marriage was one of the reasons that this tragic downfall occurred. Jocasta was the wife of Laius before he was killed by Oedipus. When Oedipus traveled to Thebes the two met and soon wed and had three daughters and two sons. Though disturbing, the signs were all there for Jocasta and Oedipus to realize. The age difference and the scars on his feet were the biggest indicators of this strange occurrence. In the moment when Jocasta realizes the fate of Oedipus and herself, she laments “O Oedipus, unhappy Oedipus!/ That is all I can call you, and the last thing/ that I shall ever call you” (page 17). Though oedipus thinks that Jocasta is being selfish and is sad that Oedipus was born poor, she actually was figuring things out inher had the timeline of events. Beforehand, Jocasta and Oedipus were relatively happy but when this series of events started to happen, everything changed. Jocasta realized that the prophecy had come true eventually and was so grief stricken she hanged herself in their room. The second messenger brought the news to the people by saying “Shortest to hear and tell- our/ glorious queen Jocasta’s dead” (page 19). The second messenger is basically the bearer of bad news letting people know in short that their queen of many years and widow of Laius
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