Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tragic or Pathetic?

Categorizing Oedipus as either a tragic figure or simply a pathetic one requires making a judgment on whether the course of his life was decided by the divine will of the gods or simply the ill-advised choices of a formerly heroic mortal man. If Oedipus and all involved in his life truly and independently made their own decisions, then Oedipus fits the definition of a tragic figure who's noble quality both raised them to heroic status, then subsequently caused their fall from that heroic grace. However, if Oedipus' fate was locked; if his life had been leading to that one moment of realization from the moment his parents heard the prophecyof their son's life, then Oedipus is simply a case that inspires pity, as there was nothing he could have done to avoid his horrible fate. It is most reasonable to believe that the truth lies somewhere in between the two: that though the Oracle gave a prophecy that came true, it was actions influenced by the very prophecy that skewed a truely "free will".

1 comment:

laca said...

Well--you're in luck. I'm still grading these today!