Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King

Oedipus: Celebrate the Hero

The story of Oedipus the King is the epitome of tragedy. A great hero, who was once revered as an equal to the gods, fell from grace when it was learned that he had killed his father and married his mother. In the time of Sophocles, Oedipus was pitied for having committed these sins. Today's audience is probably more disgusted with the incestuous relationship he has with his mother than the murder of his father. After all, it was Laius, former King of Thebes, who cemented the fate of Oedipus. Oedipus was the convenient scapegoat for the tragedies in the play. How could he have avoided a fate that was ultimately unavoidable? What more could we expect of any other man in the same position? Oedipus consciously acted morally and selflessly in regards to his prophecy, the kingdom of Thebes as well as his ultimate fate.

Oedipus acted as a hero in his attempt to avoid a prophecy that involved harming his parents. Oedipus's nobility in the matter is especially evident in comparison to how Laius tried to avoid his fate. Laius was given the first prophecy that his son would one day kill him. When Jocasta gave birth to a boy, Oedipus, Laius had his feet staked together and sent him to be abandoned on a mountain to die. Jocasta went...

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