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Oedipus The King

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Oedipus the King

You have heard the phrase actions speak louder then words. I feel that this thought originated from Oedipus. Just talk does not create a hero. Talking can only get you so much admiration; but action, along with words and accomplishments can take you from human to "God like". Throughout this essay, I am going to take you through the beginning, middle, and end of Oedipus's life. I will show you how he becomes a true heroic figure. In Oedipus the King he travels from a good man of words to a great man of action.

In the beginning of the book Oedipus opens with a very bold statement. "Everybody everywhere knows who I am: Oedipus. King" (11). "What can I give you? How can I help? Ask. Ask me anything. Anything at all" (15-17). Being so bold shows us the power he holds in his words. To this the priest answers "You are a man, not a god - I know." (50) "There was a god in it, a god in you "(57) "Godlike in power" (70) "A god was in it" (73). When Oedipus found out the reason why his people and land were diseased he said he would do anything possible to reveal the cause of the disease. Oedipus being the heroic figure in the beginning took immediate action. "I sent my wife's brother, Kreon, to a great Apollo's shrine at Delphi; I sent him to learn what I must say or do to save Thebes" (92-94). After hearing that the Gods are not happy and he needed to find the killer of Laios, he took immediate action and put everything on his shoulders by using the word I. "Now I am here. I will begin the search again, I will reveal the truth, expose everything, and let it all be seen" (160-162). "I will do everything. Everything. (176). Authoritative words came from Oedipus expressing to the people what was going too happed to the killer of Laios. "Drive him from you homes. Let him have no home, nothing. No words, no food, shelter, warmth of hand, shared worship. Let him have nothing. Drive him out, let him die" (328-330). "Nothing can stop me, nothing can change my words" (333). I will expose the killer; I will reveal him to the light" (367-368).

"It stuns me. I can almost see it - some memory, some image. My heart races and swells" (955-956). The first time Oedipus thought he understood what was going on, was only the beginning. With this he said, "Light, o light, light now everything, everything is clear" (987-988). The startling result was that Oedipus did not stop the search but investigated even harder in finding the whole truth. He could have stopped just like Jocasta asked him too, "Oedipus, you must stop. I beg you - stop" (1345-1346)! He would not leave the journey half finished. He said he was going to find the killer no matter what and not once did Oedipus let his guard down. All Oedipus cared about was his people when he stated "Damn my own



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