Final Thoughts About Oedipus Rex – Essay Example

Final Thoughts about Oedipus Rex The events that occur in the story of Oedipus Rex seem consist of a number of strange coincidences. My final thoughts about the story are about the whole dimension of chance and fate. Some would say that Oedipus was just unlucky to have suffered so any strange coincidences, such as for example the fact that he killed his father Laius, and then married his mother Jocasta. He clearly did not mean to do these horrible things, which could be counted as the worst possible sins that anyone could ever commit. If he had known Laius was his father, he would not have killed him, and he certainly would not have married his mother, because the taboo of incest would have prevented him. According to modern laws, there is no doubt that his ignorance about the identity of these two individuals would be cited in court as mitigating factors which reduce the amount of guilt that he bears. I think he could be excused to some extent, and there was no need for Jocasta to kill herself, and for him to be sent into exile.
In the context of Ancient Greece, however, there is the dimension of myth and fate, which presupposes some kind of good and evil forces in the world. Human beings are sometimes treated as playthings of the gods, and in the case of Oedipus there is a large element of tragic destiny in his story. His fate seems to have been mapped out for him the moment he was born. I think the fact that he gouges out his eyes in the end is an indication that finally he has achieved a different kind of enlightenment: he cannot see in the physical sense any more, but he can now, like Teiresias, see the whole of his life from the perspective of the gods. All of the pieces fit together, and he despairs because he finally realizes that there is nothing that he could have done to prevent the tragic path of his life. This is a pessimistic ending, and it makes me glad that we live in more tolerant times, where people are held accountable for what they know, and not just condemned for things that they did not know anything about.