Oedipus: The Two-Face of Ancient Greece Essay

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Oedipus: The Two-Face of Ancient Greece In Sophocles’ tragic drama Oedipus the King, Oedipus, the king of Thebes, suddenly realizes that he killed his father and marries his mother. Oedipus shows great concern for his kingdom and his people, calling to “drive the corruption from the land” by bringing Laius’s murderer to justice (109). He summons Tiresias to find Laius’ murderer, but Oedipus becomes enraged when Tiresias accuses Oedipus of being the murderer. Oedipus, thinking that Creon is involved in this so-called conspiacy as well makes false accusations against Creon. Much to his surprise, however, Oedipus learns that the man he killed long ago is Laius, his father, and that Oedipus’ wife, Jocasta, is his mother, all in…show more content…
This implies that Oedipus would not have had to suffer having his prophecy come true and experiencing the pain that follows if Cithaeron had killed him. The words “all mankind” suggest that Oedipus is famous. This implies that everyone is going to know that Oedipus married his own mother, which hurts Oedipus’ reputation. Cithaeron, by sparing Oedipus, makes Oedipus suffer from a hurt reputation and suffer the pain from the prophecy coming true. It is not fair when one has to suffer immensely from another’s actions. Therefore, the play displays injustice at this moment in the story because Oedipus complains about the injustice in his life. Ironically, even though Oedipus claims that others are unjust to him, he is unaware of the fact that he himself is unjust to others. The theme of injustice is also evident in Oedipus’ condescending treatment of Tiresias. Oedipus summons Tiresias to Oedipus’ palace to have him tell Oedipus the identity of Laius’ murderer. Tiresias answers by stating that Oedipus himself is the murderer. Enraged by the answer, Oedipus accuses Tiresias of making false accusations and starts to mock his blindness. Tiresias rebukes Oedipus by saying, “You are the king no doubt, but in one respect, at least, I am your equal: the right to reply. I claim that privilege too. I am not your slave” (183). By describing himself as Oedipus’ “equal,” which suggests sameness, Tiresias implies that he

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