Essay on Oedipus Jocasta Creon and Antigone



Essay on Oedipus, Jocasta, Creon, and Antigone
According to ancient Greeks the state of human beings was always in constant tragedy. This is due to the continuous control that the Gods exerted on all human beings. The Gods determined their fate and if humans tried to change their destiny and thus their character they were punished. The Gods required justice and never let someone go unpunished. Sophocles wrote two plays that described these ideas. The characters in these plays, Oedipus, Jocasta, Creon, and Antigone were bound to the Gods, and trapped between various moral obligations.
A question that was deeply present in Greek conscience was that everyone needed to know their place in the universe as a human being. Oedipus was on a continual search throughout King Oedipus for his identity. The use of oracles in the play depict the importance of the Gods role in the Theban society. Greeks depended on them for guidance and answers to problems.
Oedipus as the king of Thebes was morally obligated to his subjects to find the killer of Laius who is the source of the vile plague and promises that he will save the city just as he did when he solved the riddle of the Sphinx. After sending Creon to the oracle at Delphi and speaking to Teiresias he believes that they are both planning to dethrone Oedipus. In the interaction between Teiresias and Creon you can see Oedipus’ tragic flaw which is his pride. Oedipus taunts Teiresias when he says that he is the killer of the previous king. Oedipus refers to his track record and shows Teiresias if he was any good at prophesizing that he would have solved the riddle himself. He holds himself as this overconfident and superior being because he possesses an intelligence that surpasses everyone in Thebes. He also accuses Creon of wanting to be king and using the prophet as his pawn. His pride also made him kill the king and all but one of his guards. This makes his pride a tragic flaw because it made him save the city, but allowed him to kill his father and guards with indifference. His pride led to his greatness and his downfall.
Oedipus also angers the Gods. At the oracle of Apollo he wanted to find if Polybus was really his father, but instead gets a horrific prediction that he will kill his father and marry his mother. He tries to use his free will to flee Corinth and his parents, but indeed he makes the prediction come true. Oedipus should have known that by trying to change his fate he irritates the Gods and is punished by finding the truth out in a cruel way and making his fate come true anyway. He also did not listen to Teiresias who he knows is the nearest mortal to Apollo. This would mean that he disregarded a message from Apollo and therefore has a disbelief in Gods.
You can see that his moral predicament was a search of Laius’ murderer which in fact led him to find his own origins by revealing an undeniable fact that he killed his father and married his mother. No one could escape their fate because it was predestined by the Gods.
Jocasta can be seen as a disbeliever of the Gods and their oracles. The moral dilemma that Jocasta faced was to prevent a prophecy from coming true and to test Oedipus’ faith. Jocasta tried to avoid the prophecy from coming true by sending her son to be exposed on a mountain to be killed. By doing this and pinning her son’s feet together she tried to defeat the Gods which highly angered them.
Jocasta planted doubts after hearing that Oedipus and Creon’s argument was due to an oracle. She says they are nonsense because she was given a prophecy that Laius would be killed by the son and marry his mother. She believed that Laius was killed by robbers and that the baby died on the mountain. Since this did not come true she believed that they were incorrect. Also when the messenger comes to tell of Polybus’ death, Jocasta again says that his propecy was also a lie. She is implying that since that oracles were wrong that