Sophocles Oedipus Rex is obviously reflects the cruel fate of the king Oedipus. No tragedy in history or fiction can equal to the horror of the tale of king Oedipus. The plot is very simple and it can be told in a sentence. An oracle foretells that Oedipus shall slay his father and be married to his mother against his will and without his knowledge, he fulfills his destiny. In this play Sophocles dares to show us the unalleviated downfall of the noble but passionate king.
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Fate in Sophocles Oedipus Rex A tragedy of Fate
In a short sentence, It can be told that the one of the Theban Trilogy The king Oedipus has generally been called a tragedy of fate, where the all characters are caught in a web of circumstance. Externally considered, this is a tragedy of fate. But intelligence, arbitrary in his decision, his ignorance and other fault of his character make the play tragedy.
Read More: Role of gods and goddesses in Iliad
The crucial or main events in the play have been pre-determined by fate or the gods. Human being seems helpless in the face of the circumstances. When the king Laius knew that his son will kill him and marry his mother, he did everything to prevent it, Laius chained and handed his son over to a trustworthy servant to kill him.
But the servant handed over the child to a Corinthian Shepherd who passed him on to the Corinthian king. The child Oedipus grew up as the son of Polybus and Merope, the king and Queen of Corinth. Subsequently the son, Oedipus, killed his true father, Laius and he married his mother Jocasta. The prophecy of the Oracle was fulfilled.
Trying best to change terrible fate
Like his parents, King Oedipus tried to change his utmost or terrible fate. He is totally determined never again to set eyes on his supposed father and mother as long as they lived. Unfortunately he killed his father but the people of Thebes knew that king Laius had been killed by some unknown wicked. He saved the city from a frightful monster, Sphinx who was causing a lot of destruction.
As a result he was joyful received by the people as their king and was given Laius’s widow as his wife. Thus in complete both of the indenty of both of his parents, he killed his father and married his mother.
King Oedipus Cruel fate
So, he was treated by the cruel fate. The occurrence which brings about the tragedy in the life of Laius. Oedipus and Jocasta are the work of that mysterious supernatural power and the mysterious supernatural power may be called fate. Oedipus is the greatest sufferer in the play. He has done nothing at all to deserve the fate which overtakes him.
Aristotle’s concept of the tragic hero
Oedipus is a challenge to Aristotle’s concept of the tragic hero. We know, he is a man of royal birth. He bought up by a king and Queen and himself afterwards becomes an ideal king. He is highly respected by his people. They took upon him as their savior and almost as a god. He is a religious man. He is also a devoted husband and a loving father too.
In short both as a man and as a king he is worthy of high respect. Finally we can say that though he is sinner, his character is noble and honorable.
However. in Sophocles Oedipus Rex Oedipus has his faults. He is not a perfect man or even a perfect king. He is hot tempered, rash, hasty, informic judgments, easily provoked and even some what a arbitrary. He quickly loses his temper with the prophet, Tairesias, The scene with Creon clearly shows Oedipus’s arbitrariness and his dictatorial tendency. His pride in his own wisdom is one of his luminous faults.
Dear students, you may use the following lines in the above writings.
Sphinx riddle in Oedipus rex
The riddle the king Oedipus faces in the following lines.
“A thing there is whose voice is one
Whose feet are four and two”
Chorus lines in Oedipus Rex
“People of Thebe, my countrymen, look on Oedipus. He solved the famous riddle with his brilliance. He rose to power, a man beyond all power who could behold his greatness without envy? Now what a black see of terror has overwhelmed him. Now as we keep our watch and wait final day, count no man happy till dies, free of pain at last.”
Fear? What should a man fear? It’s call chance rules our lives, Not a man on earth can see a day ahead, groping thorough dark.”
What do you think?