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Oedipus Rex

            Oedipus Rex is a fascinating insight into the nature of a human being's need for control. From the opening lines of the play we see King Oedipus as the strong leader of his city. His strength lies in his ability to control everyone around him and every situation he is confronted with. He is arrogant but his arrogance comes across more as one who is sure of his abilities to manipulate any situation. Yet, one aspect of his life that he is never able to control is his own destiny and when he loses that ability, he begins to unravel.
             We know that Oedipus fled his home town to avoid a prophecy that foretold that he would kill his father. It is later revealed that he did in fact, albeit unknowingly to Oedipus himself at the time, kill his father. It is through the revelation of this horror that we are able to see his faults and ultimate demise. As this revelation unfolds, Oedipus tries to control his fate at every turn by attempting to manipulate each part of the story as it is made known to him. He impulsively makes decisions that seem to worsen his situation. But that is human nature in general. Whenever we are confronted with a trial in life, our immediately instincts are to figure out how to control the situation to benefit ourselves, yet without thinking about the consequences. It is only later when we reflect back on the event that we are able to see it with a more rational mind and are able to think out a better solution, or better yet, learn to just accept the outcome. .
             Oedipus eventually learns everything about his darkened past and proceeds to inflict self-blindness by stabbing his own eyes. This is a very telling part of the story as it again mirrors human instinct - to turn a blind eye to the truth. In the midst of this unfortunate tragedy, Oedipus blames himself for remaining willfully ignorant to the truth. But by destroying his eyesight, he is still blind though in a different way, and still trying to control the situation.

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