Manipulation In Oedipus The King

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Through personal experience or word of mouth, one often hears of those that suffer due to forces outside of their control and influence. One such person would be the titular character Oedipus in the Sophocles’ Oedipus the King. In the play, Oedipus, the king of Thebes, seeks aid for a plague ravaging his city. He finds out that the plague is due to the unsolved murder of the previous king, and so he then seeks the regicide. Through a series of prophecies, Oedipus learns that he himself killed the king, who is his father, and married his mother, the queen. This drives him to become a blind beggar when his wife/mother commits suicide. Throughout the play, one can see that Oedipus’s fate was determined by forces outside his control, as seen by his lack of agency over the events leading to his eventual fate. The intractable gods’ manipulation in Oedipus’s fate is clearly shown by the various prophecies delivered by various oracles and prophets in the play. The first word of god in Oedipus the King commands the citizens of the plague-infested city to “drive out, and not to leave uncured within this country, a pollution we have nourished in our land” (96-98). As a character soon clarifies, it means that in order to end the plague, the killer of the past king must be driven out. This heavily implies that the plague is a product of the gods that is meant to punish Oedipus. If the prophecy does not exist, or if the plague does not exist, or even if the condition for relief is
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