Oedipus Essay Prompt
English 11 Honors World Literature
December 1st, 2014
Click the link below to download various scholarly articles about Oedipus and archetypes. (This may be used as a reference, but is not required.)
A terrible curse and plague is destroying Thebes, where Oedipus is King. Oedipus finds out the curse will go away if the murderer of the previous king, Laius, is found and prosecuted. In his journey, Oedipus is told by Tiresias, a blind prophet, that Oedipus himself killed Lauis. He’s upset and bothered so his wife, Queen Jocasta tells him not to believe prophets, that they’re not always right. She tells him how a prophet said that her and Laius’ son would grow up to kill Laius and sleep with his mother. This makes Oedipus feel worse since he was told as a kid by a drunk old man that he was adopted and that he’d one day kill his biological father and sleep with his biological mother. He also once killed a man at a crossroads, and the man he killed sounds a lot like Laius. All of this comes together, and Oedipus realizes that he killed his biological father, Laius, and married—and had children with—his mother, Jocasta. Jocasta hangs herself, and Oedipus gouges his eyes out and is exiled from Thebes.
Here's a helpful link when you're writing your essay...
Respond to the following question in 2-4 paragraphs.
What is the role of fate in Oedipus the King? Is it possible to change one's fate? How about destiny? Explain with textual examples.
Think about your own life. Does fate play a role in your own life? Do you think it impacts your destiny? Explain with examples from your own experiences.
Ms. Barbour is an 11th grade English and Poetry teacher at Franklin High School.