Amelie Flore DEUKOU YOUMBI
Professor Leslie Roopram
English 212: World Literature
Do you think that Oedipuspunishment is justified why, why not?
Oedipus the King is one of the best known of any Greek play. It describes the suffering of Oedipus as a result of a misfortune of which he has no control. We found out that the misfortune may seem to be the consequence of his action or his destiny. Sophocles also emphasizes human weaknesses and vulnerability to certain actions which seem to cause by either man or God. It is a question here to know if Oedipus punishment is justified. The next part of the essay will focus moreon a brief background, asummary, and explains if the protagonist deserves his punishment.
During the reading the author states that Oedipus, Before he was born, his father Laius consulted the oracle at Delphi about his wife Jocasta’s childlessness. He was informed that, were he and Jocasta will have a child, that child would kill him. In Sophocles’ version of the story, this was the only omen that Laius received. Jocastasaid” there was an oracle that came to Laius, I will not said that it was Phoebus ‘own but it was from his servants and told him that he was fate that he should die a victim at the hand of his own son, a son to born of Laius and me(line816-823) this simply mean the King Laius was aware of what will happen to his family.Fearing that the prophecy may come true, Laius took his child ,pierced his ankle and ordered a servant to leave a child in a mountain. A man call Shepherd found the boy and took him to Corinth. This boy call Oedipus which mean swollen feet, was raised by the king and queen of Corinth .when he grown up, a drunken man revealed that he was not the true son of Polypus.Eager to find out the truth about himself. He consult the oracle who told him that he would murdered his father and marry his mother, not knowingthat he have been adopted ,he left Corinth .
However, Oedipus arrives at Thebes and found the town under the curse of the sphinx. This can be demonstrate by what he said “I pity you children ,you have come full of longing , but I know the story before you told it, I know you all sick, yet there is no one of you “(line 66-68) this simply mean people of Thebes was facing some issue. And then Oedipusplan to solve the problem. He send sent his brother-in-law, Creon, to the house of Apollo to ask the oracle how to end the plague. Creon returns, bearing good news: once the killer of the previous king, Laius, is found, Thebes will be cured of the plague ..This is a background about Oedipus the king. The next part will be about Oedipus punishment.
Did Oedipus deserves thepunishment? First of all the punishment can be define as the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense. The play Oedipus the King show in one hand that the fate is not able to avoid.In fact that Oedipus did kill his biological father and have his mother as spouse, he end up leaning the truth ,which conduct to punish himself by stabbing his eyes out and exiling himself from Thebes . the sentence for the crime of the father and incest was fair . this can be prove by what the author mentioned “I pray that man’s life be consumed in evil and .wretchedness.,”(135) this is what Oedipus made to the people of Thebes for whoever committed the crime , he also reassuring them that the criminal would suffer the consequences even if he himself is the murder. This demonstrate that his deserve his punishment .
In addition, he was outraged when he figure out that his is the murder, for instance, he said “O god ,I think I have call curses upon myself in ignorance” .as a punishment he also decides to exile himself from Thebes .this put him in the situation that he will leave without his family and friend he said “what can I see to love?What greeting can touch my ear with joy? Take me away,and haste to place out to the way the most accursed, whom God too hates above all men on earth.(line1524-1529) Oedipus’s punishment ,blindness from seeing the beauty of the world and exile from Thebes where he family resides was just punishment for the sins and murder.In view to all of this , it seem to deserve his punishment because he made it event thought what happen to him was just a fate from his parent.
Moreover, the final reason come from the part that when Oedipus promised the people of Thebes that he would find a way to ride off the plague. Gods said that the plague would gone when the murder will be found. he made the law to be exile in the first place, and his promised to safe his people from the plague and that was the only way he could keep his word by applying the law that he made. We can conclude that his punishment is justified because it is the murder of his father. It is possible to view the Oedipus punishment as it is not justified? The next part will help to answer this question.
Furthermore Oedipus punishment justification, regarding what have been predict by the oracle to his biological parent, the Oedipus father received the prophecy before he was born , according to the play, Oedipus was exposed to the environment that conduct him to be a victim . Oedipus destiny was not good, he was expose in some environment that expose him to this sad situation. And again during that period of time there was no writing law against the parricide crime or incest. So he was not have to blind himself and exile from family and friend.Oedipus was victim of fate this can be demonstrate by the fact that during that period ,Greeks believe that the man’s life was Woven by three fates Clotho ,Lachesis, and Atropos………… this seem to be bound in Oedipus destiny.