Reflection Paper: Oedipus Tyrannus and Antigone
Philosophy and Psychology
Submitted By wpierce116
In the beginning of the play, Creon has returned from the Oracle at Delphi. He comes back telling Oedipus that the plague that has come upon Thebes will be lifted once the man that killed the former king is banished. The prophecies of the Oracle are an overwhelming theme of Oedipus Tyrannus. This is the question of fate versus free will. Or in the case of the Greeks, it corresponded to how much the gods may have meddled in their lives. At one point, Oedipus and Jocasta talk about whether prophecies from the Oracle at Delphi should be believed or not. During this conversation, Oedipus tells Jocasta about the prophecy he found out when he was young that he would kill his father and sleep with his own mother. Jocasta tells her of a similar prophecy that Laius was told about their son killing him. What is surprising is that Oedipus and Jocasta do not realize the remarkable coincidence about what they just told one another about those prophecies. Either they realize the possibility or they are blinded by the fact that they don’t believe either of those prophecies will come true. Sophocles could be inserting his own beliefs while writing this play. He could be trying to stress to everyone that the prophecies of the Oracle at Delphi are to be taken seriously. What is somewhat paradoxical in the play is that although it feels like Oedipus and his family had their fates pre-determined by the gods, the choices made by Laius, Jocasta and Oedipus themselves led directly to what happened. Was this all a part of some master plan by the gods? In hindsight, had Laius and Jocasta not taken the Oracle seriously and raised their son, the likelihood that Oedipus would have killed his father and slept with his mother, would have been greatly diminished – at least one would hope. However, this type of paradox does not feel as if it would have been a problem in ancient Greek...