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Oedipus Rex - Oedipus is Innocent
Because Oedipus knows nothing about the past of Thebes, he is not an assassin. Oedipus committed murder but unknowingly of who King Laius was. Oedipus? honor was his claim against the murder. Had it been the other way around and Oedipus had lost the battle, King Laius? alibi would have also been for reasons of honor: for reasons of royalty. Oedipus was royalty and knew it as well did King Laius. The main idea behind Oedipus? innocence is this "royalty." Regardless of either of their class standings a fight occurred and the one to start had been King Laius? men, or group, the fact that they lost is not the fault of Oedipus. In other words, King Laius and his men wanted to discipline Oedipus for not showing honor towards a king. Yet, in return, Oedipus wanted respect in return from King Laius and his men. They were both rightfully due the same amount of respect yet King Laius? and his men felt they were entitled to pass first. The first blow came from the driver of King Laius? chariot. This shows how Oedipus reacted in defense and feared for his life as well as his honor. Oedipus is an innocent man whose fate was also his destiny. There was no way to stop the prophecy no matter what action was taken. Throughout his life he ruled for his people. He was looked at as a "mortal set apart to face life?s common issues and the trials, which the gods dispensed to men" (3). He was the hero, the one that everyone looked to in a time of need. It can be said of his case that the good should outweigh the bad. That Oedipus reacted as any other would. Though the prophecy is what he was running from, the prophecy is what he ran into. Oedipus did not want his fate to be his destiny. He wanted to be honest?to be a savior. He wanted to be a ruler?to do for others as he would want for himself. His honor was his destiny. As far as he knew he left from Corinth to prevent this humiliation of wedding his mother and killing his father. He wanted to be true and always be looked at with respect, even when he traveled. He told his people of Thebes how they "suffer?but not one among them suffers more than him" (4). Not one of them "grieves as much as he does alone" (4) He continues later on again to say "I sorrow more for them than for myself" (4). He feels every ones pain. He is a true leader one who puts his people before himself. One who understands what it is to be a ruler of a kingdom. His innocence is obvious. He does what needs to be done. Had he been guilty of murder or of any other crime he would not have gone through the process of finding the truth behind King Laius? murder. He tells Creon "you will find me a firm ally, and together we shall exact vengeance for our land and for the god?And with the help of God, we shall find success ? or ruin" (5) He knew what his duty was and that was what he wanted to follow. He needed to save thousands of people and Oedipus would go to any means to save them. This is an innocent person and a trustworthy King. "My words are uttered as a stranger to the act, a stranger to its tale"(7). He tells us that he cannot solve the "riddle the very skill that proved him great" (11). He cannot do it alone. Why is this? If he is so guilty of this crime and he is the "murderer that he seeks" then why does he go on with the search? (10). The reason is that he does not know that he has caused the grief for his people. He does not know that he is the murderer. "Ask what you wish. I am not the murderer.", is what he uttered to Creon because he believed that he was not the murderer (14). The fault behind Oedipus? fate lies partly on Apollo and on the prophecy that he was told. Had he been blind to that prophecy he would have remained in Corinth and ruled as a true ruler. He
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Oedipus the King, Oedipus, Operas, Sophocles, Creon, Jocasta, Laius, Tiresias, Oedipus at Colonus, Polybus of Corinth, oedipus rex, king laius, rex oedipus, first blow, innocent man, thebes, time of need, corinth, alibi, chariot, prophecy, humiliation, savior, royalty, innocence, assassin, destiny, fate, hero
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