October 21, 2008
Punishment of Oedipus
A plethora of people in life tends to bring justice into effect by acting on their own but it is hard especially when the person has to judge himself. Considering Oedipus’s feelings some people may find the punishment he gave himself just and other may find it absurd. There are some other factors that contributed as well to his immediate and repugnant decision which were: the city being devastated by plague, diseases, a fair amount of people dying, crops not growing, etc, and others further discovering which will be discussed so on. Oedipus impetuously answered the sphinx’s riddle and assumed control of Thebes but pulled off his eyes and wanted to be banished from his kingdom. Oedipus really furthered Sophocles' sight metaphor when he defended his decision by humbling himself through blindness.
Oedipus’ implications included the search for Laius’ killer: he wished to put an end to the deadly plague which would not stop spreading through the city if the assassin of Laius’ wasn’t found according to present prophecies. When it was revealed that Oedipus himself murdered Laius, he chose to be banished from Thebes. It sounded definitely the best exit because he wanted his punishment to be more symbolic than justice like. Despite all this, Oedipus didn’t want to commit suicide because it would not do the citizens of Thebes any good, to be people belonging to a kingdom where two kings dye, one past another. Even though it seems that Oedipus has not been a particularly good monarch, in fact his only major accomplishment seems to be killing the Sphinx all those years ago; having a king put to death could have serious repercussions on the rest of the kingdom.
By highlighting Oedipus’ punishment one could see that the play contains some gray area. Oedipus was obviously ignorant to his actions, his punishment may have been for
killing Laius, but how could you punish someone for being a victim of a prophecy? When...