Place where three roads meet oedipus rex analysis

Where Oedipus killed his father Laius, the roads from Thebes, Delphi and Pondering these things, I follow the road leading, as it did three Whereas his real father, the King of Thebes, was actually going to They are from Thebes, Delphi and Daulis the roads in the myth, meeting at the crossroads. A summary of Symbols in Sophocles's The Oedipus Plays. as the Corinthian messenger tells us in Oedipus the King, from the fact that he was left in In Oedipus the King, Jocasta says that Laius was slain at a place where three roads meet. A major symbol in Oedipus Rex is that of the crossroads, the place where the three roads meet in Phocis. When people are said to be at a crossroads, they are .

He goes back to his adopted parents and remains Prince of Corinth. Secondly, he holds his temper although Laius and his entourage antagonize him. This results in no murders and fights. Oedipus continues his journey while Laius returns to his kingdom. Then it comes down to the final option which Oedipus kills Laius and most of his entourage.


These three paths emphasize the various ways Oedipus's life may turn out. Then again, these three roads may also allude to Oedipus's life but in terms of time. Each of the roads may represent the past, present, and future. The crossroad is ultimately where the past, present, and future collide with each other. The past finally catches up with the present as Laius and Oedipus meet again. Once Oedipus loses his temper, he embarks on the road to his future. Furthermore, the number three can come down to the circumstances of Oedipus's birth.

This may be the reason why three is such a symbolic number. The unraveling of the prophecy begins to unfold after the exile of Oedipus. Hypothetically, we can assume three is an extremely significant number. After Oedipus's abandonment, the number three arises in several points of the play. Look back to the previously mentioned hypothetical connotations. These connotations occur when Oedipus grows up.

His birth parents' rejection eventually releases a chain of events to play out in his life. Consequently, my interpretation of the symbol of the crossroads changes my earlier perceptions of the play.

There are suspicions that the prophecy comes true especially when Tiresias the blind prophet proclaims " the killer you are seeking for " is Oedipus Sophocles I infer Oedipus has been condemned to lead the life in accordance to the prophecy.

There are no ways out of this disastrous situation. Fate is undoubtedly irreversible and rigid with no loopholes. Then the symbol of the crossroad sparks some hope and assumptions of changing the prophecy. If we take in account the three paths, we can spur three distinctive outcomes. What if Oedipus indeed went home after hearing the oracle? He would have gone back to his kingdom and eventually rise as King of Corinth.

He and Laius may not meet ever again. If they did, it might not be under the predicted circumstances. If Oedipus did not retaliate in anger to the driver, an altercation would not result in Laius's death.

In the event of Laius's survival, no marriage takes place between Jocasta and Oedipus. Oedipus would have never gone towards Thebes.

All of these "what ifs" questions could alter the original story. I keep in mind that the unfortunate fate of Oedipus likely could be prevented.

The symbol of Triple crossroad in Oedipus Rex from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

However, it brings into question whether there are alternative paths in this play. After the revelation of Oedipus truly being the lost son, it is odd to hint possibilities of alternative paths earlier. Oedipus indeed makes a momentous decision at the crossroad, but it is the one he is predestined. The basis of the play is that no matter how many attempts, it is futile to escape fate. The oracle's predictions carry out despite efforts to find loopholes.


In the end, every bit of the prophecy is fulfilled. The symbol of the crossroad falsely implies that Oedipus has several choices.

This makes the readers ponder what is the reasoning behind this symbol. It seems like the play tries to mock or trick Oedipus in believing prophecies can be altered. Overhearing our conversation a middle-aged cook, who's preparing the meat for the evening grill, comes out smiling while he sharpens two large knives, one against the other. Finally someone who knows. It's further down, on the right. Now I remember this name!

They are from Thebes, Delphi and Daulis the roads in the myth, meeting at the crossroads. Thus after a few minutes I turn into a narrow, asphalted road, deserted and surrounded by rugged hills supporting goats. I recognise the crossroads as if I had already been there and observe the monument built of many stones, which records the event.

It's modest, but behind it rises the enormous mass of the Parnassus, the mountain sacred to Apollo and whose cliffs house the Oracle.

  • The crossroads of Oedipus and the present Greek dilemma

I stop to reread Sophocles' lines, take a few photos and savour the landscape before the sun sets. No-one is there, no sign of human presence or visitors. Indeed, along the nearby roads there had been no signs, nothing to show that there, a few paces away, intact for thousands of years, was one of the most famous places in literature and myth. A dilemma with no apparent solution The Daulis crossroads are the perfect symbol of what is, par excellence, the nucleus of every tragedy: That crossroads is perhaps the place which, in all the world, best represents three thousand years of Western theatre.

Furthermore, it may also represent the dilemma of a more concrete tragedy, that of Greece today, bowed by its economic impotence, uncertain whether to stay in or exit from the euro, between declaring default and accepting increasingly onerous privations, between seeing the growing social protest and entering the unknown path of bidding farewell to Europe.

It's strange but dilemmas like this are exactly the fruit of the freedom which we have made so much effort to gain. And if tragedy was born in Greece and developed in Europe, it's because the individual assumed the right of free choice with only his own conscience to guide him, so having the weight, at times intolerable, of an extraordinary responsibility.

Courage to choose But that unnoticed, abandoned, unfrequented crossroads symbolizes another dilemma which Greece may not have considered and could help her raise her head. Is it worth keeping alive in young people's memory that extraordinary past, the meaning it may have, not for a small nation, but for the whole of Europe? In these days, for example, the Greek daily papers have reported the proposed law for the reform of the higher technical institute, and the subject which has been penalized more than any is history.

Paradoxically this country today forms the tail wagon of that train constantly at risk of derailing, that is the European Union. At least culturally, in fact - where by culture is meant the courage and capacity to take one's bearings at every fork or crossroads and then take a road with all the responsibility this entails — Greece would have the resources, traditions and means to be the locomotive of Europe.

And perhaps to show others, even simply enlivening and enhancing that which is one of the possible directions to take. I commenti, nel limite del possibile, vengono vagliati dal nostro staff prima di essere resi pubblici.

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Oedipus The King - Thug Notes Summary and Analysis