Sophocles shows a dramatic play
Recalling what had happened to Oedipus about finding out the he killed his own father and that he married his own mother and had children with her, Oedipus finally realized that the prophecy is true. Before, he ruled the city of Thebes, and because he wants to escape from the dirty life that he had been through, he poked out his eyes and went away. The question now is who deserves to get his protection, what city will be fortunate and will the prophecy prevail?
Sophocles, shows a dramatic play for a tragic death of a hero and his mystical importance to the city of Athens. During the play, Oedipus who was now blind and frail had transformed to a beggar after he exiled himself from the city of Thebes. He was only with his daughter, Antigone, who guides his way. While they stand on the holy ground, Oedipus remembered the prophecy of Apollo that he will come to rest on that ground.
By that time, Eteocles, the younger son of Oedipus, had overthrown Polynices to rule the city of Thebes. As a little description of Polynices, he was the older son of Oedipus and the twin brother of Eteocles who want to reconcile with his father for a selfish reason.
He compared himself with his father which he considered as an outcast. Polynices attacked his brother in troops who is now under the rule of Creon, the brother –in- law of Oedipus. There is a prophecy which was known by Creon and Oedispus’ sons, that the place where Oedipus body will be buried will bring fortune to the city.
Since they already knew about what’s going to happen, Polynices as well as Creon decided to go to Oedipus and take him back with the same reason of getting him in their custody and bury his body in their kingdom. However, Oedipus swears that he won’t give his two sons any support because they had done nothing to he will never give his support to either of his sons, for they did nothing to prevent his exile years ago.
By that time, Oedipus also called King Theseus and he arrived he pitied Oedipus because of the fate that has happened to him. Oedipus asked Theseus to keep him in Athens until the day he dies and at the same time he warned him by doing this favor. Without any hesitations and not thinking twice, Theseus accepted the favor and Oedipus promised him that the city will receive great blessings once his body will be buried in Colonus.
Creon wants to seize Oedipus but because he knew that he can’t do that, he kidnapped Antigone and Ismene. Theseus promised that he will get oedipis’ daughters back. Creon threatened to start war and used the two daughters as hostage, but then the king of Athenian drived Creon off, and soon freed Antigone and Ismene.
Soon after Creon left, Polynices appeared, and he asked for his father’s favor to be in his custody. Since Oedipus gained his trust to Theseus he asked him to drive Polynices away, but Polynices wanted to explain his side that he did not condone his exile and the reason why the men of Thebes turned against him was because of his brother Eteocles.
The worst thing that happened to Polynices aside from not winning his father back was the curse that his father gave him (Lines 269-576). Polynices asked his sisters support to give him a good burial after he dies as what the curse of father uttered.
Suddenly, Oedipus hears a terrible thunder and declares that the time of his death has come. Oedipus prepared for his death as he led Theseus, Ismene, and Antigone into a hidden part of the grave where he would lay to rest. The on witness to the death of Oedipus was Theseus and before he died, Theseus carried certain rites on the body of Oedipus so he received a divine protection to Athenes.
Oedipus told Theseus that he must not reveal the spot where his body was placed and in order for the city to be safe for the next generation to come, he must pass it to his son when he dies and pass it to his son at his own death. When Oedipus finally died, Theseus took his daughter to their fathers’ grave.
In giving my own view about who should really have the chance to be given the protection for either of the two cities, I would say that it should really be Athens. It is because as I am looking in Oedipus perspective; he has the will to choose to whom he will give his protection.
There are several reasons why his decision was the right thing to do: First, when the time that he has planned to exile himself from the city of Thebes, his sons especially Polynices who is the eldest, did not even show any ability to stop his father from exiling himself and wander outside the city of Thebes. Greediness has been seen in the character of Polynices as well as with Creon and Eteocles.
Polynices had the chance of getting the protection of his father’s corpse however, because of his self-serving reason, he disregarded his fate. He made a vision of invading Thebes and because his father knew his plans, he unfortunately cursed his son, which had caused his death. The other reason was that during that time, Oedipus already believed in the prediction of the oracles since his identity has been revealed and the prophecy had come to pass. He remembered that his prophecy was to die in the near the city gate located in Athenes is located.
The third reason why his body stay in Athens is because, he should leave his bad memories in Thebes, where his prophecy had all started, which all draws back from his father’s oracle, Laius was murdered, Thebes was plagued by Sphinx, Oedipus became the king but then he turned to be the queen’s own son, famine came, Oedipus become blinded and soon exiled and finally her wife hangs herself;.
Several memories which led to his suffering came ultimately from Thebes. And finally, the king of Athenes, Theseus, had shown his humbleness and kindness to Oedipus who asked for his help and gratefully accepted the favor of keeping him inside the city until he dies, although Oedipus warned him about a possible vengeance of the other city.