Friday, January 21, 2011

The Peculiar Case Oedipus

How can a man who doesn't know the full extent of his life reflect and look back to examine his life? The Greeks believed that one could recieve answers from an oracle, a mystic, or a priest to ask questions of the gods, who, surely for a king would give answers.
The prophecy of Oedipus stated that Oedipus would grow up, kill his father, king of Thebes, then marry his mother and become king himself. His parents send him away as a baby to be killed in the fields, but he is spared by the shepard. Oedipus grows up not knowing he is the Prince of Thebes, travels to Thebes, and kills his father when he refuses to move out of the way of his son when the cross eachother on a thin road. Oedipus reaches Thebes, where he unknowingly fulfills the prophecy by marrying his mother.

After hearing of the prophecy, he puts out his own eyes. But, before that, where did Oedipus look back and assess how he had gotten there? Nothing in his life would have indicated that he would commit such an act. Was it the oracle who revealed the prophecy? Was it Oedipus' own action? How could a man decide that his eyes should be put out for his pre-determined path?

I could then ask, "Can a man control his own destiny? Or is fate and predestination the true 'deciding' factor in life?" but i will save that for another blog