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Essay Example: Antigone

4 pages
868 words
Carnegie Mellon University
Type of paper: 
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Oedipus story is, perhaps, one of the most confusing tales ever told; one cannot know as to whether what befell the character was meant to be or his own doing. Antigone, his daughter, attributes his suffering to a curse; however, the big question is not whether it was a curse, it is a question as to whether he deserved his pain. In a bid to find answers to the question, one has to find out whether Oedipus could reverse his fate or it was inevitable. What is more, one has to identify the exact suffering that befell Oedipus before they can relate it to what the fictional character did. The article, Antigone, provides answers to all the questions revolving around Oedipus suffering; thus, its analysis would be of much essence towards identifying facts regarding the occurrences.

From the article, not only did Oedipus die but he was also hated, and his children died too; that is, his lineage perished. Ismene states, Oedipus died, everyone hating him (Fitts and Fitzgerald). From her statement, it is clear that Oedipus had lost the influence he had on his people at the time of his death. Having been a king, people must have liked him; however, that popularity perished, and at the time of his death, many people did not like him. Antigone, on the other hand, acknowledges the death of their brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices. Ismene emphasizes on Antigones claims by stating that the two brothers killed each other; so, two sisters lost two brothers (Fitts and Fitzgerald). That implies that Oedipus two sons died too after him. Antigone is sentenced to death for performing a ritual for her dead brother. Therefore, Oedipuss lineage perishes in the story.

Point to consider, the article terms what happened to Oedipus as a curse. Antigone tells her sister, we had already suffered enough For the curse on Oedipus (Fitts and Fitzgerald). From that line, it is clear that Antigone is aware of the fact that there is a curse that is affecting her family, and the curse was imposed on her father. Further, the piece explains that curses do not just occur on people; they come due to human folly such as pride. For example, Teiresias uses the term curse to warn the king of his actions; as in, And curses will be hurled at you from far Cities (Fitts and Fitzgerald). Elsewhere, Kreon admits that a curse should be on him because he is guilty of having murdered his son and wife. So, in other words, Antigone shows that curses only come in cases where one has done something wrong. Thus, it would be right to claim that Oedipus erred to deserve what befell him.

Looking at the circumstances that led to the curse, one realizes that Oedipus not only killed his father but also married his mother. Ismene says, His mother and wife at once to show that her father married his mother (Fitts and Fitzgerald). That is, Ismenes mother was her grandmother. According to Antigone, the act of her father marrying her grandmother, thereby becoming a father and brother at the same time, is rather unimaginable; therefore, there is a curse on all children born to the two (Fitts and Fitzgerald). Essentially, the fact that Oedipus takes over his fathers wife acts as evidence for the struggle that occurred between him and the late king. Though not documented in Dudley and Roberts article, Oedipus is responsible for the death of his father. Such an act was wrong, and it was worth attracting the curse that his daughters talk about.

Since Oedipus committed evil that attracted the curse, it could be said that he controlled his destiny. Choragos states, Like father, like daughter: both headstrong, deaf to reason! to imply that Antigone was behaving as her father did before his downfall (Fitts and Fitzgerald). Ideally, that statement suggests that Oedipus defied pieces of advice from people like Choragos just in the same way Antigone does against her sisters plea. Further, the statement shows that Oedipus failure to reason was the main cause of the curse that befell him and his family. For instance, his marriage to his mother is unheard of, and her daughter acknowledges that; however, Oedipus stubborn nature might blind him. In other words, Choragos explains that Oedipus could have controlled his fate. Maybe, by giving a listening ear to the people around him, he would not have married his mother. Therefore, the character had the chance to make things right, but he chose a way that only led to his curse.

Conclusively, Antigone has provided sufficient information to identify whether Oedipus fate was natural or his making. From the article, it is clear that the characters life became miserable because of a curse that he deserved. Being that he killed his father and committed incest with his mother, there is no doubt that Oedipus earned the curse. Worse still, he did all that despite the advice he got from his close associates; henceforth, his blasphemy was due to pure negligence and arrogance, and he had the power to make things right from the beginning but failed to.


Work Cited

Fitts, Dudley and Robert Fitzgerald. Antigone. Sophocles, 441 BC.


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