Thursday, September 15, 2011

oedipus: victim of fate?

This same question is raised in classrooms that take up this subject all over the world. And for certain, responses are available in the web. Here's one from my current Litera Team.

I believe that Oedipus was fated from the very beginning of the story to suffer in tragedy, and he was used as a puppet of the gods to portray what Greeks shouldn’t do. I would also like to think that his actions/ attitude alone merited such punishment because he thought highly of himself. We can see this vanity and high self-evaluation in the line: “It is I, you know me, the world knows my fame. I am Oedipus.” Another instance is when he said: “Why is it that you pray to the gods? I will be the one to solve your problems”. In Greek literature, the gods are of higher ranking compared to men, and because Oedipus knows and proclaims that he can solve the riddles instead of turning to the gods, he is proclaiming in a way that he is better than the gods. His anger and high-rating of himself merited his downfall, but despite all of this he would have suffered the same fate anyway, because for the Greeks: No one escapes fate.

To Ryan, thank you for writing and sending to me. The others didn't bother. :)