Are You There Gods? It’s Me, Oedipus.

Looking back (a cruel colloquialism) at my tale as entertainment, I have to conclude that it was always as such. Oh, Oedipus of old, I worry for you, for someone must, and clearly the gods do not. What a farce I must have been: a comedy for the divine.

Venerable Sophocles, I do not fault you for your words. How could I? To do so would be to hold you higher than the Olympians themselves. I hold no ill will towards my fellow man, only pity for that tragic Oedipus, and endless questions for the gods that marked me.

Oh, wisest Apollo, did you laugh? Was there jubilation upon Olympus as Oedipus played the fool? What a silly man that was, who cared only to be a good king to his people, and to see no harm come of his family. Surely you must have smiled when I stated, “I would be blind to misery not to pity my people kneeling at my feet.” For I was already blind, was I not, Apollo? I was ignorant of so many things.

Did you giggle, Athena, warrior-daughter, as I unknowingly played the straight man, vowing to bring about my own demise? What a joke it must have been when I declared, “I’ll rid us of this corruption. Whoever killed the king may decide to kill me too, with the same violent hand—by avenging Laius I defend myself.” Searching for a man who was with me at all times: such a paradoxical ruse your brother laid before me. Goddess of reason, you must have at least enjoyed the cleverness of it all.

I still must know why, scholar children of Zeus. What did I do to wrong you? Were you angry that, having doomed me from birth, I continued to live? Curse Laius! He failed both to expose me as a child and to strike me down as a man. Certainly you could not fault me for the demise of the Sphinx, or for searching to rid my people of the plague. These honorable people: your own worshippers! So what, heavenly directors, motivated this plot? What was my fatal flaw?

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About Alex Mueller

Alex Mueller can be found running and cycling the streets and suburbs of Boston, taking long sojourns in rare book archives whenever he can. He teaches English at UMass Boston, serves as Book Review Editor for Arthuriana, and writes about digital pedagogy, open access publishing, and medieval literature.

1 thought on “Are You There Gods? It’s Me, Oedipus.

  1. Oh Oedipus you make a good point here….The gods may be playing a joke on you…You didn't deserve to have been what you went through…we should feel bad for you..It is not your fault that you have been cursed since birth……But you say that you were ignorant which is quite true…..Maybe after all we shouldn't even pity you….At least not that much….Your actions have seemed to caused most of your problems…Since You were the one in fact that killed the man on the road which just happened to be your father…Your stubbornness hurt you….and Your curiosity got the best of you…..You probably would of been better off being doomed from birth…After all no one could imagine all the bad things that happened to you…But in the end it is not your fault that an oracle was placed on you….There was nothing you could do as it was in the hands of Zeus.

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