Word Analysis Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
The Guilt of Oedipus Rex by Sophocles The story of Oedipus’ guilty of incest and murder is argumentative with ideas of his guilt or innocence being centered on the murder of his father, King of Thebes and exercising incest by marrying his mother. Oedipus’ life was based on a prophecy which was fated by the oracle before he was born. As such, one could argue that his killing his father and marrying his mother was a way of him fulfilling his destiny, which he had no control over. However, murder is murder and whether there was a motive or not, the mere action of killing someone is criminal. He knew he was taking a life yet his life was not in danger. Why should he be blamed for what happened? Because there are many ways to prove he is guilty of murder and incest and therefore liable for the consequences as his ignorance is not sufficient to excuse him.
Oedipus was certainly guilty of engaging in incest with her mother and murdering his father. There is enough evidence to convict him of these crimes. He had very intimate ties with Jocasta for seventeen years and therefore hard to believe that he did not recognize that he was his mother. How could he never have shown her the scarred ankles or mention the doubts about his origin and his violent encounter with the five men of Thebes. Freud holds that Oedipus is Laius’ murderer and therefore he is guilty of that crime and of marrying Jocasta. He states that Oedipus slayed his father and bedded his mother without any suspicion of true relationship thereby making him guilty of incest and murder. Freud argues that even though the oracle was supposed to show his innocence, it served the opposite as the Greek law considers an act as opposed to the motive. Another reason to doubt his innocence is based on the decisions he takes about finding out the doubt about his origin. When the oracle told him about the prophecy, his escape from Corinth was incoherent. After hearing that he will kill his father and marry his own mother, he would have been careful and avoid the risk of engaging in war with anyone or marrying a widowed queen. The coincidence is rather huge. The King had lost his life on the hands of a traveler, yet Oedipus was a traveler himself and he killed five people among them a royal. Jocasta had borne a child, who would have been his age but had since been presumed dead. This shows that his actions were out of ignorance and therefore that cannot be his defense.
Freud, Sigmund. The Oedipus Complex. Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. Robert
Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. Robert DiYanni. 6th ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2007. 1307 1346.