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The Punishment Of The King-Oedipus Rex Essay, Research Paper

The Punishment of the King

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At the terminal of Sophocles? Oedipus Rex, Oedipus, male monarch of Thebes, ends up banished everlastingly from his land. Additionally, Oedipus physically puts out his ain eyes, for several grounds which will be discussed subsequently. The inquiry is: Did Oedipus merit his penalties? There are many factors that must be considered in replying this, including how Oedipus himself felt about his state of affairs. His blinding was every bit much symbolic as it was physical hurting. After all factors have been considered, I think that merely Oedipus? ostracism was the necessary punishment..

It is of import to maintain in head the whole basic logical thinking for Oedipus? hunt for Laius? slayers: he wished to set an terminal to a deathly pestilence, and that pestilence would merely be stopped when said liquidator is killed, or driven from the land ( pp 4-5 ) . Thus, when it is revealed that Oedipus himself murdered Laius, so ostracism seems to be the lone option. Death, in my head, is non valid merely because of what it might make to the land? s people. Even though it seems that Oedipus has non been a peculiarly good sovereign, in fact his lone major achievement seems to be killing the Sphinx all those old ages ago, holding a male monarch put to decease could hold serious reverberations on the remainder of the land. So in the terminal, the lone manner to bring around the pestilence and maintain the land stable seems to be the ostracism of Oedipus. In this instance, the inquiry of whether or non he deserved to be punished seems irrelevant ; Oedipus? merely end was to halt the pestilence and by go forthing, he has accomplished that end. Banishment was the lone pick.

But what precisely was Oedipus being punished for? Even after re-reading the drama, this still seems to be a grey country. Incest? Immoral, to be certain, but Oedipus was evidently nescient to his actions, and to my cognition, in Sophoclean times, there was no written jurisprudence against it and hence no penalty for it. Oedipus? penalty may hold been for killing Laius, but how could you penalize person for being a victim of destiny? Greeks believed at the clip of the drama? s composing that a adult male? s life was? woven? by the 3 destinies ( Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos ) and that he was irrevocably bound to that fate. Knowing this, and cognizing that Oedipus became male monarch of Thebes merely because it was his fate to slay Laius and kill the Sphinx, how could he truly be punished? Even Oedipus himself knows that his actions are non by pick, but by Acts of the Apostless of the Gods, he mentions this twice in the drama: ? Some barbarian power has brought this down upon my head. ? Equally good as? My God, my God & # 8212 ; what have you planned to make to me? ? Such quotation marks clearly show that Oedipus knew that he had no pick in his actions. In this mode and in this mode entirely, Oedipus is undeserving of said penalty. Oedipus may non hold been a peculiarly good adult male, but in the terminal he knew what was best for his land: ? Out of this land cast me with all velocity? & # 8230 ; for merely that would salvage his former topics.

Were that Oedipus? merely penalty, the drama might hold been rather a spot simpler ( and this essay rather a spot shorter ) , but Oedipus, in a tantrum of fury, knife his ain eyes humor

H Jocasta? s dresspins. This was Oedipus? manner of seeking to penalize himself, every bit good as an flight. Oedipus would no longer stare upon the faces of his topics, his brother ( uncle? ) Creon, or even those of his kids. He is plunged into a universe of darkness. It must be noted that this was more than merely a penalty, though I? thousand sure that it was one of the ways Oedipus intended it. The physical hurting entirely seems to turn out that. There are much easier ways of going blind to the universe than knifing one? s eyes out. As I have stated before though, Oedipus was blinded by his foolish pride long before the beginning of the novel. He merely realized the truth behind Laius? slaying when it was right in forepart of his olfactory organ. He was by no agencies stupid, in fact he came off as rather a clever adult male, but his was a universe of sightlessness because of pride and power.

I have been concentrating on the two most obvious of Oedipus? penalties, but there is another 1 that may non look so clear. Keeping in head that Sophocles made it really clear that Oedipus was a adult male of so much pride that he may hold thought himself to be kindred to a God, was non Oedipus fundamentally stripped of that pride at the terminal of the drama? The true penalty has been revealed.

Oedipus? life was based on pride. It was what led to the slaying of Laius, which in bend led to the violent death of the Sphinx, which led to his going male monarch. As he continues on his peculiar yarn of life, Oedipus becomes more and more powerful, and as such, his pride besides increases proportionally. He threatens both Tiresias and Creon, and single-handedly attempts to unknot the enigma of Laius? decease. What must travel on inside his head when he finds out that non merely did he slay his male parent, the male monarch, but he besides slept with his female parent? Knowing full well that his land would finally happen out his Acts of the Apostless, how could he keep his caput up when walking through the metropolis streets? How could his topics regard and idolize a male monarch who was a liquidator and commiter of incest? Oedipus is so stripped of his pride, the drive force behind his whole personality. He has been crushed, and that which he had so much of before has been denied him. Where he was one time at one extreme ( hubris ) , he is now at the other. To take away the really thing that drives a adult male is worse than any physical hurting or even decease itself. That is genuinely, as Sophocles intended it, Oedipus? ultimate penalty.

When the drape falls and the visible radiations go out on Oedipus Rex, the male monarch? s penalties entire three. Though in my head at least, one far outweighs the other two, they are all of import and they all contribute to the entire experience of the Grecian calamity. In the terminal, I do non experience that Oedipus genuinely deserves the penalties he is handed, but that is merely because of the fact that I place myself in the clip period that this was written in, utilizing the beliefs of that clip for my ain. Were this narrative to hold taken topographic point in modern times, Oedipus surely would hold deserved his penalty, but this thought is irrelevant because, rather merely, this did non take topographic point in our? advanced? civilisation. Oedipus was a victim of destiny, incapable of free will, and as such he should hold non been punished, salvage ostracism merely to bring around the pestilence.

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