Homework Help

How fair is it to say that Oedipus is morally guilty? does he argue that he is morally...

user profile pic

linda111 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 24, 2011 at 5:23 AM via web

dislike 1 like

How fair is it to say that Oedipus is morally guilty? does he argue that he is morally innocent because he didn't intend to do immoral deeds?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted October 24, 2011 at 7:08 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like
Guilt is not necessarily determined by intent. We can say that Oedipus is morally responsible for his action even though he did not know all the facts of his situation. Oedipus still killed his father even though he didn't know it was his father at the time. He still took his mother as his wife even though he didn't know it was his mother. His level of guilt might be lessened by the fact that he didn't know, but he is still responsible for his actions. We see the same type of situation in our society today. A man might kill someone by accident but he is still guilty of murder. Our law today separates intential crimes from unintential ones. We have separate punishments for each type of crime, but we still punish both. Oedipus is still morally guilty despite the fact that he didn't know all the facts from the beginning.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes