October 21, 2010
Hughes – HUM 1101
Essay # 1
A Paradox with Destiny
Is Oedipus a toy of fate forhaving killed his father and for having married his mother? Does destiny control Oedipus? Is his fate marked? Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus the King is applicable to today’s world because it involves theforce of destiny, an incestuous relation, and the auto-aggression, which are themes inherent to humanity and relevant even in modern society.
First, the most important theme in Oedipus the King isthe force of destiny. It is impossible to escape the predictions of the Oracles. Even though Laius had taken strong measures to avoid being killed by his son and Oedipus had escaped from his city toevade killing his father and marrying his mother, prophesy still became a reality. Could it be that destiny dictates that we must live through the worst misfortune or sadness in our lives to experiencea full life? Perhaps we can understand that we come to this life to learn the art of indifference to destiny and that in spite of that, we can find the treasure of the education itself. What isdestiny for me? If I ask a postman, probably his answer would conclude that destiny means direction. Can we choose the direction of our lives? Yes. We have a set amount of time to relish life’sexperiences, and we must learn from them.
Second, when Oedipus realized he had committed incest, he felt guilty and deserving of punishment. It is at this point we realize the moral rules that are implied andset, that marital and sexual relations between families and relatives are not healthy and are not condoned by society. The legacy Freud left to us based on the drama is very relevant and important intoday’s world. Freud analyzed the Greek Mythology of Sophocles and named one of Oedipus’s conflicts as the Complex of Oedipus, which is present in many families around the world in the modern...