Guilt Of Oedipus Essay

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Bruce Ray World Literature Oedipus Essay April 11, 2012 The Guilt of Oedipus In the beginning of the story of Oedipus the priests of Thebes have come to Oedipus to stop the plague that is killing the people of Thebes.” People of Thebes, 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 sea of terror has overwhelmed him. Now as we keep our watch and wait the final day, count no man happy till he dies, free of pain at last” (Oedipus The King, 1678-1684).They revere him for his knowledge, since he solved the riddle of the Sphinx many years before and became the king. But Oedipus learns from his brother-in-law, Creon who he had sent to Delphi, that Apollo has placed this plague upon Thebes until they "Drive the corruption from the land, don't harbor it any longer, past all cure, don't nurse it in your soil - root it out!” Oedipus swears an oath before the priests that the murderer would be found and driven from the land. Oedipus at the time does not realize that he has just condemned himself. Oedipus receives a prophecy that he will kill his father and marry his mother. He reacts by running away and doing everything he can to oppose the fates that the gods have in store for him. Then he kills one person in self-defense and three more for the same reason or because of his uncontrolled passions and temper. He does not carry out cleansing rituals that he knows must be done, in the case of these four murders and in regard to the murder of his royal predecessor, Theban King Laius. Instead, he can think only of marrying the beautiful, older widowed queen of Thebes. It is unknown to Oedipus that one of the men that his has killed is his father and that the woman he has married is his mother. “Stop, my children, weep no more.

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