Oedipus: The Scapegoat or The Murderer?

1359 WordsJul 13, 20186 Pages
In the Sophocles play, “Oedipus Rex,” discrepancy between whether Oedipus is the main culprit for murdering King Laius or if Oedipus has become the scapegoat for the cause of the city’s plague that took many lives. The murder of King Laius strikes the interest of many readers and therefore creating the discussion of who would be a culprit for the crime. One side of the argument shows the Greek Gods set a curse upon Oedipus making his destiny one of wrongful conviction for a murderous crime. On the argument’s opposing side the goddesses determine Oedipus’s fate will be to murder his own father unknowingly on his way to becoming King of Thebes. Also, a third argument can be made as to Oedipus did murder his father to save his family from a…show more content…
Solving the riddle also becomes the key to the story since Oedipus ventures his way along the same pathway as the murders and meets the Sphinx. When Oedipus approaches the Sphinx he solves the riddle and the Sphinx destroys herself making the situation quite a coincidence due to Oedipus’s fate of killing his own father made in prophecy at his own birth. All of these situations lead to Oedipus becoming the King of Thebes and making him very accusable upon the coincidental circumstances. On the flip side, Lauren Silberman’s journal, “God and Man in “Oedipus Rex”,” presents the argument that Oedipus’s destiny was to murder his father King Laius due to his son’s suffering at birth. Silberman makes a strong argument towards Oedipus’s destiny as, “There is more than simple dramatic irony in the contrast between Oedipus’ limited understanding of his situation and the full truth. What Oedipus understands as a simile-he fights for his father-is literally true because, contrary to what Oedipus asserts, Laius has not died without issue.” (Silberman 293) These facts were the creation of goddesses and they are the guarantors of Oedipus’s fate. Except Oedipus believes he needs to find the murderer and the idea becomes a huge consequence in the end of the play. The consequences include the suicide of Oedipus’s wife/mother Jocasta as she understands the fact he is the true killer of Laius before Oedipus figures out such disturbing

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