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Fate of Oedipus Rex

  • Date Submitted: 03/24/2015 06:58 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.5 
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Kay Dill
Mrs. Loughney
AP Literature and Composition
8 October 2014
Oedipus Rex
When one thinks of karma, being killed by your son who will marry your wife is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, in ancient Athens, this is the style in which Sophocles writes his drama, Oedipus Rex. Laius, ruler of Thebes, husband to Jocasta, and father of Oedipus commits major offenses, and because of it his family is cursed. Oedipus and Jocasta are forced to deal with the repercussions of their family past.
The tragedy is based on the curse that is put on Laius’s family. The curse is a direct response to one of Laius’s transgressions. Laius is born of Labducus, but raised for half of his life by Pelops, King of Pisa. As an adult, he returns to rule his homeland and brings Chrysippus, the prince of Pisa, as a captive and kills him. Because of his poor treatment to his host’s family, his own is cursed. The prophecy states that Laius will have a child that will kill him and marry his wife. The curse is made before Jocasta or Oedipus enters his life, however, Oedipus and Jocasta are forced to deal with the consequences regardless.
The connection in which Oedipus has to his family past and curse, directly affects who he chooses to live his life with. As the story unfolds, Oedipus attempts to avoid his terrible future by fleeing from his home. “…I ran away. From that point / on, I measured the distance to the land of Corinth / by the stars. I was running to a place where I would / never see that shameful prophecy come true” (Oeipus Rex 56). However, by fleeing he runs straight into fulfilling the prophecy. Oedipus chooses to live a life without the parents who raised him, and with Jocasta because he is afraid of fulfilling the prophecy. The connections Oedipus and Jocasta have with Laius’s past affects who Oedipus spends his life with.
Jocasta and Oedipus both meet very tragic endings because of the curse of their past. They each have an anagnorosis and feel...

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