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In light of this, it can be said that being sighted or blind does not necessarily correspond with the ability to control ones fate. It may be assumed that having the ability to see makes it easier to control fate, however, in Oedipus Rex, it is clearly evident that between physical and intellectual blindness, it is the latter which seems to allow for a more truthful vision of one’s destiny.
Oedipus, the protagonist, is arrogant and intellectually blind. It is this arrogance and blindness which actually cause him to eventually fulfill the fate he so desperately tries to escape from. He begins his life with a prophecy from the gods; that one day he will kill his father and marry his mother. In a desperate attempt to avoid this terrible fate, his parents send him into the mountains to die. However, a shepherd saves Oedipus and the child is adopted by Polybus and Merope, the King and Queen of Corinth. While Oedipus was completely unaware of the prophecy during this time, he was safe from fulfilling his terrible destiny. Ironically, it is only when he begins to see the truth that he begins to approach his fate. As he becomes aware of the prophecy, he flees from home for safety in the hopes of avoiding his destiny. However, in doing so, he achieves the opposite; while fleeing Corinth, he meets his real father, King Laius, and kills him. He then makes his way to Thebes where he marries his real mother, Jocasta, and also brings a plague into the city. These events are hugely ironic, because if Oedipus had never become aware of the truth, he could have stayed blissfully ignorant, and safe from fulfilling his destiny. Alternatively, if Oedipus had been aware of the full truth from the beginning he could have potentially avoided his fate. His arrogance is further displayed when he declares that he will find the Kings killer so he can save the town from the plague, unaware that he himself is the killer.
We can see that throughout the
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As the audience, we are aware of the whole back story that would lead to the tragedy itself. However, Oedipus the King as a hero is also appreciated much because we see that he is not perfect, like an ordinary human being. He is actually far from perfect, committing several sins and crimes like parricide, homicide and incest.
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