Oedipus: Riddle of the Sphinx as a Metaphor of Life Essay

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Oedipus: Riddle of the Sphinx as a Metaphor of Life

Oedipus Rex (the King), written by Sophocles, is the tragic play depicting the disastrous existence to which Oedipus, an Athenian, is 'fated' to endure. With a little help from the gods and the 'fated' actions and decisions of Oedipus, an almost unthinkable misfortune unfolds. Athenian perfection can consist of intelligence, self-confidence, and a strong will. Oedipus, the embodiment of such perfection, and his tragedy are common place to Athenians. Ironically, the very same exact characteristics that bring about the ominous discovery of Oedipus' fate: to kill his father and marry his mother. Oedipus' 'fated' decisions entangle everyone whom is of any significance to him
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OEDIPUS: My wife!--Did she give it to you?

SHEPHERD:My lord, she did.

OEDIPUS: Do you know why?

SHEPHERD: I was told to get rid of it.

OEDIPUS: An unspeakable mother!

SHEPHERD: There had been prophecies . . .It was

said that the boy would kill his father.

OEDIPUS: Then why did you give him over to this old man?

SHEPHERD: I pitied the baby, my King,

And I thought that this man would take him far away

To his own country.

He saved him--but for what a fate!

For if you are what this man says you are,

No man living is more wretched than Oedipus.(4.55-68)

Oedipus is weakest during this point in his life and has no part in the actions that take place in respect to his life. When Oedipus is born, Jocasta is probably around the very young of thirteen to sixteen. Taking her age into accountability, Jocasta's decision making is possibly not what it should be in order to analyze and choose a wise course of action is response to the prophecy. Jocasta's decision to pass the responsibility of killing the ill-fated child to the shepherd only aids in the fulfillment of the prophecy and Oedipus' cursed life. The shepherd sparing his life and giving him to
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