The Intention (motivation) Of Essay

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The Intention (motivation) Of


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
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