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Oedipus the King - Essay Example

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Summary
The one tragedy, in which epiphany was prominently featured was Oedipus, written by Sophocles. An epiphany can be explained as a moment that can take…
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Oedipus the King
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Oedipus the King

Download file to see previous pages... Oedipus was originally the son of King Laius of Thebes and Queen Jocasta, but King Laius fearing that the prophecy (that he would be killed by his own son) would come true orders him to be killed. However, he survives and was cared by King Polybus of Corinth and his wife Merope, who raise him as their own. After hearing rumors that Polybus and Merope are not his biological parents, he asks Delphic Oracle, who sidestepping his question on parentage gives a different prophecy that Oedipus will kill his own father and marry his own mother. Thinking that Polybus and Merope are his real parents and fearing that the prophecy would come true, Oedipus leaves Corinth. On the way, he meets his real father King Laius, and a quarrel ensues between them, leading to Oedipus killing Lauis, thus fulfilling a part of the prophecy. Shortly after, he solves the Sphinx riddle and frees the kingdom of Thebes from the Sphinx’s curse. For that effort, he was made the king of Thebes and thus got married to Jocasto, his biological mother. Although, the prophecy came true, Oedipus did not realize it or undergo epiphany until Thebes faced the threat of plague.
To prevent the onslaught of plague, Oedipus needs to find Laius’ killers, although he is the actual killer. He looks to Teiresias, a blind seer, to help him find the king’s murderers. It is Teiresias who reveals the truth to him about the prophecy and his real parents and initiates the onset of epiphany. But, Oedipus does not accept it and even threatens Teiresias in the initial stages. When he got the confirmation of both these crimes that he killed his own father and has married his own mother, Oedipus undergoes full epiphany and goes into a state of shock. “I, Oedipus, damned in his birth, in his marriage damned, Damned in the blood he shed with his own hand” (Sophocles 123). He was fully repentant of his misdemeanors when he undergoes ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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