In Sophocles,â€™ Oedipus the King, Oedipus introduces himself by saying â€œI Oedipus, whom all men call the great.â€ (8) Oedipus was a â€œgreatâ€ man, but he also was cursed. He was cursed by the almighty god, Apollo, but he was too arrogant to believe the curse would be fulfilled. This story questions the everlasting mystery of â€œfate versus free will.â€ I will attempt to explain how Apolloâ€™s curse, as well as Oedipusâ€™ actions, ruined Oedipusâ€™ life.
Oedipus was cursed before he was born. He was cursed because Apollo thought Laius, Oedipusâ€™ father, and his family, brought homosexuality to Greece. The curse said that Laius and his wife, Jocasta, would have a baby, and that baby would grow up and kill his father and marry his mother. When Laius and Jocasta heard this they gave Oedipus to a shepherd to leave on the top of a hill to die. The shepherd could not do this, so he gave Oedipus to another shepherd. That shepherd then gave Oedipus to the king and queen of Corinth, Polybus and Merope. When Oedipus grew older, an oracle told him about the curse. Oedipus did not want anything to happen to Polybus and Merope; he thought they were his real parents, so he left Corinth. While he was walking, a carriage was coming towards him. He was too arrogant to move, so as the carriage cam towards him somebody swung a club at him. Oedipus killed the men in the carriage, but one man who fled. One of the men he killed was his birth father Laius. Oedipus knew he was destined to kill his father, but he did not think twice about killing the people inside of the carriage. His arrogance and pride got the best of him. He felt since he was a prince he did not have to move for a carriage. This is the first example of Oedipus thinking he could outwit Apollo.
Oedipus continued traveling until he reached the city of Thebes. When he arrived, there was a blight on the city.