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Essay/Term paper: Justice

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Oedipus

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Justice...

Oedipus is not formally charged with any crimes. He does manage however to commit incest, and murder. His father is cursed. The curse states that his son will kill him and marry his wife. These facts are discovered in the introductory, "...if laius , king of thebes, had a son by jocasta, his queen, that son would kill his father and marry his mother. Laius in light of these facts has Oedipus abandoned as a child. Another family raises him as their own.

Oedipus was on his way to town when he encountered a carriage. Some negative events transpired and Oedipus kills the entire caravan. He continues on towards the city only to find that a sphinx was terrorizing the city with a riddle. It killed every man that answered the riddle incorrectly. Oedipus arrived at the solution and saves the city. He is immediately proclaimed King. He does not know he has killed the former King nor do the people. He marries the queen which just happens to be his biological mother and has children by her. " ...child of impurity, begetter in the same seed that created my wretched self."

Oedipus does not try to defend his actions. In fact he blames himself as quoted from the story "Light of the sun, let me look upon you no more after today! I who first saw you the light bred of a match accursed, and accursed ." The consequences of his actions are harsh. He stabs his own eyes out and his wife/mother took her own life.

Justice is defined as "the abstract principle by which right and wrong are defined." Utilizing this definition pertaining to the story Justice has not been served. Since Oedipus's actions were predetermined by the gods, he should not have to face the consequences. Even though he was not mentally responsible for his actions he decided to punish himself. He stabbed his eyes out and his wife/mother took her own life.
 

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