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Who’s Fault Was It? If one were to look for an individual to blame in the tale of Oedipus many characters would stand out. Assigning fault on Just one character of this story would be challenging since almost every character is trying to cheat fate. If there was really one character that could have prevented all this tragic Father killing and Mother “loving” who would it be? The story spirals on in a whirlwind of destiny with each step taken by all characters to avoid an impending fate and leading to an even more imminent and closer step to the final tragic outcome.
One could look to the beginning, the exact point where King Laois seeks an audience with the Oracle of Delphi to learn his future. The question to ask is if the oracles prophecy had never been spoken would the chain of events have taken place causing King Laios to fear his own son and send him away to die. Laois being so curious of his destiny could have avoided his own death had he not learned the prophecy and tried so hard to avoid it. If Oedipus had been raised by his biological parents the probability that he would ave killed his father and marry his mother might have decreased.
When taken away to be destroyed the herdsman responsible for leaving baby Oedipus to the elemenst did not have the resolution to complete the task. Instead he gave Oedipus toa messenger in the hopes that he would take the infant to a faraway land and no one would ever know that Oedipus had not perished as ordered. If Oedipus had died as an infant then the prophecy would never come true and Laios’s death would have been prevented. Oedipus was received by a childless King and Queen to raise as heir own.
King Polybus and Queen Merope loved Oedipus very much and did not tell him that he was not their biological child. Rumors did circulate about Oedipus’s true parentage so he decided to visit the oracle and learn the truth. Instead of hearing that his parents were not truly his he learned that he would kill his father and marry his mother. The oracle did not mention that Polybus and Merope were not his biological parents so in fear of the foretold prophecy Oedipus flees from his home and travels far away in hopes of avoiding his proclaimed fate.
Upon fleeing from his home to evade such a gruesome outcome, Oedipus meets a group of men at a crossroads. The carriage driver tries to push Oedipus off the road. In a rage most likely exasperated by the news of his learned prophecy Oedipus kill most of the men in the caravan. Unbeknownst to him he had Just completed the first part of his prophecy. He had killed his biological father King Laois. In an attempt to sidestep fate Oedipus actually makes it come true. When Oedipus arrives at Thebes he defeats the riddle of the Sphinx there in saving the city.
This makes Oedipus a hero and by becoming the savior of the city he ends up marrying Jokosta, a newly widowed Queen. It makes sense that a city without a King would wish that their new hero would become their new leader. Oedipus doesn’t realize that he has Just married his biological mother. He lives for years with her thinking he has successfully avoided the prophecy yet in reality ne nas completed the prophecy by marring his own mother and killing his father. Many aspects happened in this story that causes