Oedipus Rex Questions and Answers
by Sophocles

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Is it fair to say that in Sophocles "Oedipus is innocent and gods are evil"? Give reasons for your answer.  

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Though Oedipus could be considered innocent of incest because he did not know Jocasta was his mother, he is not a completely innocent character. Though he was prophesied to kill King Laius, he still made the decision to do so. When the two men met at the crossroads, they got into a fight that was spurred by pride and arrogance. Even though Laius and his people were also at fault, Oedipus could have walked away instead of killing people.

Instead, Oedipus murdered Laius, went to Thebes, became the king, and married Jocasta. When Jocasta tells him about her husband and the prophecy, Oedipus says:

Instead,
they must keep him from their doors, a curse
I laid upon myself. With these hands of mine,
these killer’s hands, I now contaminate
the dead man’s bed.

It's clear that Oedipus feels a lot of responsibility for his actions and the consequences. However, Oedipus was born under a curse that his father, Laius, was responsible for. Oedipus was the instrument of his...

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