On meeting Teiresias, he learns more about what the future holds for him but he decides to rubbish him and even goes as far as calling him a fool. Oedipus’ cowardice and his ignorance are what caused his downfall. In this sense, he is responsible for what happens and guilt of the crimes that he committed. This is further strengthened by the fact that if he was not guilty, he was not supposed to have attempted to run away. This is further reflected by Tiresias’ phrase to Oedipus, “I say that you slew the man whose slayer you seek. ” Oedipus is indeed guilty of killing his father.
Determining the innocence or guilt of Oedipus, one must analyze the state or options he had while he chose to commit the crimes. The first point is that his conscience was very clear that he was taking away the life of a man. This action only is enough to indict him as being guilty of murder. Furthermore, his conscience haunts him, and he tries to place the blame off the murder on Creon and Tiresias.
This haunting is evident when he says, “I think you both-you and the one who framed these things-will regret your urge to cleanse this land, but if you were not so old, you’d learn now what such words earn. ” There is further a belief that Oedipus was capable of eliminating anyone who came in his way. It eventually turned out that the one who crossed his path was his father. However, on the issues of marrying his mother, it can be justifiable that it was not his fault for it is something that he lacked knowledge about.
It was not wrong for him to claim his prize for correctly answering the sphinx’s query. This was the intervention of fate, and he cannot be blamed for committing incest. He did not act in a criminal manner hence he is free from the responsibility. Oedipus is completely innocent on marrying his adoptive mother. Jocasta got detached from Oedipus when he was at the tender age. The fact that Oedipus married her is a mere coincidence and not Oedipuss making. Oedipus solved the riddle given by Sphinx and the Sphinx decided to kill herself by throwing herself on a rock: “She threw herself upon the rocks and perished”.
After that, Oedipus was made the King by Thebans who also gave him Jocasta as a wife to be Queen. At this point, Oedipus never knew that Jocasta was his biological mother. This openly proves the innocence of Oedipus in marrying his mother. The queen herself has the belief that fate cannot be changed. This is exhibited when she says, "Why should anyone in this world be afraid because fate rules us anyway…" (Sophocles, 1951.
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