Oedipus the King
The main theme about the book has to do with fate and free will. King Oedipus is a victim of fate of an old oracle prophecy of that one day he would kill his father and marry his mother. In bid to avoid such a scenario, the father of Oedipus issues an order for his son to be killed to ensure that the prophecy does not happen. The fact that the mother sent a servant to kill the child made it hard for king Laius’ desire to happen, as the child was saved by a shepherd who later took the child to a childless king. Due to fate, the son kills the father and marries the mother unknowingly (Grene and Sophocles 76). On finding out the truth, Oedipus mother kills herself while Oedipus plugs his eyes with the mother’s gold pins. The oracle prophecy comes to pass as the child kills the father, and marries the mother.
The 21st century leaders can learn so much from king Oedipus’ actions. Towards the end of the book, the king is seen to take responsibility of what happens to him. Though it was not his desire but what fate made him to become, it is clear in the current society some leaders do some social wrongs and still face the citizens without any shame. King Oedipus’ actions of taking the responsibility is one of the great characters the leaders should learn to have. The desire to help the people of his country and find out the cause of the plague is also an important thing that leaders can get to learn. King Oedipus’ vowing to find out who caused the killing can be a good reason to leaders to make sure that justice is promoted in their countries, as it is also a way of defending the constitution which they are deemed to do.
One of the issues that king Oedipus faces is the fact that there exists a conflict between the state and the citizens. The priest is keen to criticize his actions and when they do, he does not take responsibility of his actions but in turn fails to listen to everyone who comes his way with a piece of advice. The fact that the king is not willing to listen to the people is problematical as everyone has his share of mistakes and at all times, it is good to lead by example. Another issue that King Oedipus faces is the issue of his parental hood. The revelation that his real father might not be who ever he considers to be his father bothers him so much and seeks to find it out but to his surprise, he only becomes a recipient of a certain information that would make him be a victim of incest. He shows a blind eye when it comes to his origin though the prophet was continually telling him of the reality. In this context, an aspect of metaphor is brought out where the prophet, though blind, is able to see the truth. On the other hand, the king, though of good vision is not able to see what ever was going on in reference to the crimes and his origin. The prophesy of the incest was also another problem that the king encountered. When he is told of the fact that he would kill his father, he tends to run away to ensure that he does not get to be involved with it but to his surprise, the prophecy comes to pass as he ironically kills someone who happens to be his real father (Grene and Sophocles 39).
Sophocles, David Grene. “Oedipus the King.” London: University of Chicago Press, 2010. Print.
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