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Oedipus Innocent Essay

In Sophocles’ tragedy, Oedipus relentlessly pursues the truth of his own ancestry and actions in the past, making this play a tragedy of action in which, in the end, the king goes into exile, believing that he has killed his own father and had incest with his own mother. While this latter conclusion is not debatable, it is questionable whether or not Oedipus killed his father, and he could be innocent. All the proof is that he killed his father is from the seer and prophet Tiresias.

his fears and suspicions and discover the truth, which is his fate, he is doomed in doing so. “To his mother son and husband both, he sowed the loins his father sowed, he spilled his father’s blood! Go in and reflect on that, solve that, and if you feel I’ve lied from this day onward call the prophet blind” (Sophocles). All Oedipus knows is that he killed a man at a crossroads: there was no direct communication between them, and no recognition.

One would think that Oedipus, however metaphorically blind he may be at this point, still has eyes enough to recognize his own father. His own obsessive seeking of the truth could also contribute to the fallacious assumption that Oedipus makes, without proof, that he has indeed killed his own father. In pursuing the answers to his own tragedy obsessively, Oedipus becomes a sympathetic figure who is blind to the possible truth, and accepts that he has killed his father without having overwhelming proof.

There is still a reasonable doubt that the person at the crossroads could have been a complete stranger. But Oedipus’ will demands that he use his essential nature to fight against destiny, and this makes him somewhat blind to the facts. There is no proof beyond the shadow of a doubt that Oedipus has really killed his own father. It is simply what Oedipus believes. Sophocles (2005). Oedipus the King. Norton Anthology of Literature. New York: Norton.


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