The Intention (Motivation) Of Oedipus In Oedipus

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The Intention (Motivation) Of Oedipus In Oedipus Rex Essay, Research Paper The intention (motivation) of Oedipus in Oedipus Rex Oedipus Rex, also known as Oedipus the King, is one of the most ironic plays ever written. Sophocles, the author, is a famous philosopher of the ancient times. The Play is about Oedipus, the king of Thebes, who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother. An oracle warned Laius, the king of Thebes prior to Oedipus, that his son would slay him. Accordingly, when his wife, Jocasta, bore a son, he exposed the baby on Mt. Cithaeron, first pinning his ankles together (hence the name Oedipus, meaning Swell-Foot). A shepherd took pity on the infant, who was adopted by King Polybus of Corinth and his wife and was brought up as their son. In early

manhood Oedipus visited Delphi and upon learning that he was fated to kill his father and marry his mother, he resolved never to return to Corinth. Travelling toward Thebes, he encountered Laius, who provoked a quarrel in which Oedipus killed him. Continuing on his way, Oedipus found Thebes plagued by the Sphinx, who put a riddle to all passersby and destroyed those who could not answer. Oedipus solved the riddle, and the Sphinx killed herself. In reward, he received the throne of Thebes and the hand of the widowed queen, his mother, Jocasta. They had four children: Eteocles, Polyneices, Antigone, and Ismene. Later, when the truth became known, Jocasta committed suicide, and Oedipus, after blinding himself, went into exile, leaving his brother-in-law Creon as regent. The central

theme in this work is that one cannot control his/her fate, whether the intentions are good or bad. Oedipus, the main character in this play is motivated to find the truth, and his intentions are good. The motivation is always followed by the intentions, just as the truth is followed by goodness. There are three critical parts to Oedipus s motivation. There is the prophecy, the realization, and the revelation. They will be discussed consecutively. The beginning of the play opens up with the dilemma of the plague as explained before. Creon, Oedipus s brother in-law (which turns out to be his uncle), comes from the oracle with the advice to end the plague. He explains the previous leader, Laius, had been murdered, and they haven t found the murderer. More importantly, was the way

Oedipus handled the situation. He had Creon explain this out loud so that the public can hear as well. He tells Creon, Speak for all! My heavy load of care more for the sake than for my own I bear . From this, we learn about Oedipus s honest character, and the closeness he tries to share with the public. After this, Oedipus then pledges himself to find and punish the murderer. There is a usage of irony in the method of punishment, in which Oedipus says, But all men from their houses banish him; Since it is he contaminates us all , when actually it is Oedipus, who is the murderer of Laius and he will be the one who is banished. His motivation is innocent, for this reason is what makes it such a tragedy. Oedipus blindly led his life, not having any clue that the prophecy might lead

to truth. This would be the prophecy stage Oedipus goes though. Now comes the realization stage, of which the reader very well knows that Oedipus s prophecy is true, but Oedipus himself does not know. This is a very interesting situation for the reader. That is because the reader stays in suspense to see how Oedipus reacts to the truth. The motivation of Oedipus in this stage is very interesting because it is at this point, we realize that he has one more quality to his character, and that is anger. For this is shown to us twice, once with Tiresias and Creon, and the other time with the old man. In Oedipus s blind motivation, he becomes angry if the truth is held from him. Anger is a serious flaw in his character because it leads to Laius s death, and the false accusations to