Symbolism in Oedipus the King Does the fear of one’s fate sometimes cost one a lot more? Fate is about choices that one picks that will set their destiny. In Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, it becomes obvious of what is to come of Oedipus’ future. The play takes place in 430 B. C. in the city of Thebes. There was a plague in the city that had all the people sitting near death’s door. Oedipus, who is the king of the city, wants to find out the problem and how to solve it. He will send out his brother-in-law, Creon, to speak with Apollo about the plague.
When returning to the King, Creon tells Oedipus the King that whoever must of killed Laius, who was the former king, must be brought to Justice in order to lift the plague. Oedipus will then make a promise to find whoever murdered Laius and save the people of the city from the plague (Schroeter 180). At birth, there was a prophecy told about what was to become of Oedipus’s life. The prophecy foreshadowed Oedipus murdering his father and marrying his own mother (Schroeter 187). It becomes evident that there are symbols that lead Oedipus to discover who he really is.
Symbols are objects, colors, or characters that are used to represent concepts and abstract ideas. Oedipus the King was represented by many symbols such as sight verse blindness, Oedipus’ “swollen foot,” and the three-way crossroads. If Oedipus was not blinded by the truth, would he had seen his fate? Oedipus the King was represented by many symbols such as sight verse blindness. Throughout the play, it was a consent battle between sight and blindness. The words “sight,” “blind,” “eyes,” “vision,” and “see” were used numerous of times throughout the play.
The sense of having knowledge is very symbolic to the play. Knowledge had to do with both sight and blindness (Howe 129). The prophet Teiresia, who was actually blind, could see right through the past, the present, and the future of Oedipus’s life. Oedipus’s eyes were completely fine, yet he was completely blinded by the truth itself. His fate was already endangered and he Just could not get himself to believe the truth (Schroeter 187). Towards the end of the play, Oedipus will finally see the light of his fate. This will set Oedipus into an angry, rave state of mind.
Oedipus will then blind himself by stabbing his own eyes out. Oedipus said that he had stabbed his eyes out because he did not want to look at the horror that had been created in his life. Oedipus finally became what he had always been, blind. At the end of the play, Oedipus is walking and stumbling in the dark of an unknown universe. He became symbolic to all humanity (Howe 124). Oedipus the King was represented by many symbols such as Oedipus’s “swollen foot. ” After only three days of Oedipus being born, Oedipus’s parents learned of Oedipus’s prophecy.
The prophecy stated that Oedipus’s would kill his father, Lauis, one day. His parents decided to pin his ankles together and leave him on a mountainside that was abandoned. Little did Oedipus’s parents know, Oedipus would live through this incident. Oedipus would live with vivid scars from his ankles for the rest of his life. foot” in Greek (Lesser 179). The vivid scars symbolizes the marking of fate itself. It is the mark of suffering fate since birth. It can also be said it symbolizes that Apollos prophecy to Lauis was the truth all along and it was constrained since Oedipus’s birth.
Oedipus the King represented by many symbols such as the three-way crossroads. The three-way crossroads was a big clue to the identity of Oedipus the King. In the play, Lau’s, Oedipus’s father, was murdered at the three-way crossroads. Jocasta, Oedipus’s wife, said at the place of the murder there were three roads that met. Little did Oedipus know that the three-way crossroads would help determine his fate (Lesser 180). At the beginning, readers learn of the dreadful prophecy. The prophecy said Oedipus would kill his father. Long before the Oedipus had become king, Oedipus had killed a an at the three-way crossroad.
Oedipus had thought the man be one ofa band of thieves (Lesser 181). As the play goes on, readers will see that the three-way crossroads are bought up a few times. Crossroads are usually symbols of choices that lead to decisions that can affect the rest of one’s life. Decisions can have important consequences with different choices that can still happen and be mad. The three- way crossroads are symbols in Oedipus the King’s past. This would be the moment where Oedipus and Laius would be reunited. Oedipus is very unaware that at that im moment he would be making a decision for his own fate.
The three-way crossroads symbolizes decision and choices of one’s fate. The paths are not Just roads but the outcomes of varies decisions. The decision on what path to take is up to the person in the crossroads. Picking a positive path is up to the person and would remain a mystery until one embarks on that Journey. At that point in Oedipus’s life, he had a choice on what path to pick. He could have went on the path that led to his destiny or take the path that led away from the prophecy. Oedipus had the choice of ow to live his life despite what the prophecy foreshadowed.
The three-way crossroads had alternative options for Oedipus’s life even if the prophecy foreshadowed a doomed life (Lesser 180). Even though the three-way crossroads was all a symbol of its own, the curiosity of why there was three roads. The three roads could symbolizes Oedipus’s past, present, and future. The three-way crossroads was when all three the past, present, and future come together. It was like the past, which would be the prophecy, would come together with the present at that moment, hich have been Laius and Oedipus meeting at the crossroads.
All of this would led to Oedipus future, which would be that he would kill his own father Just like the prophecy said he would (Schroeter 188). Had Oedipus the King’s whole life been a big symbol to his fate? Oedipus was blinded by the truth of his fate. Oedipus tried his best to avoid the truth even when the prophet Teiresia, who was blind, could see Oedipus’s past, present, and future. It is not until the end does Oedipus see the light of his fate. He will then blind himself from the world. Turning himself into something e was all along, blind.
Oedipus’s vivid scars on his ankles were a symbol of his fate. Oedipus was marked at birth with this fate and was scarred with it forever. Had Oedipus not been abandon on the mountainside, would his life had been different? The three-way crossroads was a symbol of choices and decisions. It meant picking represent the three roads the three-way crossroads made up? Had Oedipus lived his life the way it was supposed to be, would it have really turned out the way it did? Blinded by the truth eventually permanently blinded Oedipus Just so he could avoid eeing the horror of the truth..
Work Cited Howe, Thalia Phillies. “Taboo in the Oedipus Theme. ” JSTOR. The Johns Hopkins university press, 1962. web. 26 oct. 2013. Lesser, Simon O. “Oedipus the King: The Two Dramas, the Two Conflicts. ” JSTOR. National Council of Teachers of English, Dec. 1967. Web. 26 Oct. 2013. Schroeter, James. “The Four Fathers: Symbolism in “Oedipus Rex”” Wayne State university press 3 (1961): 186-200. JSTOR. web. 23 oct. 2013. Sophocles. “Oedipus the King. ” The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 2012 ed. vol. A. New York: W. W. Norton 2012. 707-47. print.