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September 25, 2005

Success isn't Sure

Sophocles, Oedipus the King (Up to Scene III) -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

Oedipus...poor Oedipus... he has no idea. I've read this play before and I was confused the first time I've read it. Now, that I critically reading it I can see it in a different angle. The phrase Oedipus said really stood out to me.

OEDIPUS: Success is sure, 'tis ruin we fail.

Obviously, he is not aware of the events that are about to unfold and crash his world around him. This sort of reminds me of Shakespere's play Macbeth where he was pretty sure by killing King Duncan he will easily become king. When Oedipus discovers he is the murderer of the old king, I think that is when he discovered his dark past. Unlike Macbeth, Oedipus done a lot of bad things by accident. Do you think that he should still be punished for what he did? Or was he an unsespecting victim of a dark prophecy?

Posted by KevinHinton at September 25, 2005 3:18 PM

Comments

To a certain extent, I do feel bad for Oedipus, but if you read my blog, you'll see i do think that he brings his fate somewhat upon himself. Maybe not the crimes that he committed (the actual murder of Laius and marrying his mother), that was pure irony, but the way he handles the situation and feels so sure that there is some evil culprit out there that he shall seek revenge on, only to find out he is condemning himself. Now that said, it is still really sad because even if he wasn't so sure his own innocence, he would still have to be exiled or killed in order to make things better for his people, since that is what the gods said would have to happen. He in no way can escape his fate. And that is quite sad. But, I guess that is Greek tragedy for you.

Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at September 25, 2005 3:55 PM

I think Oedipus is a victim. It sounded like his murder of his father was in self-defense. They forced him off the road and tried to hit him.

"OEDIPUS: The groom leading the horses forced me off the road at his lord's command."

Posted by: Kayla Sawyer at September 25, 2005 5:00 PM

I think that Oedipus is a victim due to the fact he was forced off the road for his king/father. However, i still believe that he should be punished for the murder of Laois.

Posted by: Denamarie at September 25, 2005 5:12 PM

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