Oedipus The King's Heroic Journey

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Oedipus’s Heroic Journey The Hero's Journey, a common pattern found in many stories, illustrates the stages and steps a hero endures throughout his/her quest. The outline allows the audience to make personal connections to the hero and link commonalities that are mirrored in the audience members’ personal lives. The template for the Hero's Journey consists of three main stages that are then subdivided into steps. Most heroic tales follow this pattern, but each with its own unique story. In Oedipus the King, written by the playwright Sophocles in 430 B.C., the main character completes the classic Hero's Journey with definitive Departure, Initiation, and Return stages. The first stage in the classic Hero's Journey, is the Departure,…show more content…
During this phase, the Hero must embark on a Road of Trials, Temptations, and Successes. After fleeing his home town, to insure the safety of his family, he travels to a distant land called Thebes. Along the way he kills a man and his caravan, for pushing his cart off the road, but continues on into the foreign city. Oedipus then encounters a Sphinx, who is terrorizing the city. He bravely “stopped the sphinx...With… the flight of [his] own intelligence” defeating the monster that no one else could conquer (lines 452-453). Killing the Sphinx proves that Oedipus is fit to rule as and king, and pushes him closer to his ultimate treasure: the truth. This action serves as Oedipus’s Road of Trials. After reigning for many years as the King with his bride Jocasta, Oedipus's kingdom is invaded by a plague. To rid Thebes of the disease, he must locate the former king, Laius's, murderer. Ironically, in seeking the truth, Oedipus incriminates himself, for he is the murderer of Laius. He is also presented with news that he is not the biological son of his parents in Corinth and vows to discover the identity of his real parents. Jocasta is the first to make the discovery that Laius is Oedipus's father, and she, his wife, is his mother. The shocking realization motivates her to discourage her son from making the discovery himself. Jocasta pleads “ Call off this search! My suffering is…show more content…
In a desperate time after finding out the truth, Oedipus looks to his brother-in-law/uncle to care for and tend to his children, while also asking the man to banish him forever. Oedipus’s “put[s his]requests to Creon,” an unlikely ally during a time of immense agony (line 1550). Creon, helps Oedipus accept the reality of his tragic life, by promising to care for his children, Rescuing him From Without. Oedipus is banished to the beginning of his journey: Mt. Cithaeron. It is here where he returns, back to the place where he was left as a child. Oedipus banishes himself to the site that his “mother and father be [his] everlasting tomb” so he can meet his end, right where his life began (lines 1591-1592). By returning to the mountain where he was left to die, Oedipus comes full circle, Crossing the Return Threshold. Tragically, Oedipus finally has the freedom to live with complete comprehension of his entire life. He has done “ the blackest things a man can do” and must live with the guilt (Lines 1541-1542). He now has the Freedom to Live with the
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